‘The Queen last night issued an ‘unprecedented’ plea to the nation to ‘come together’ and strive for a truly united kingdom.
From Balmoral, she acknowledged the rancour of recent days but urged people to put aside their ‘strongly-held’ opinions for the sake of unity.
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Her statement, issued after SNP leader Alex Salmond resigned, was also a clear message to politicians trying to appease voters on both sides of the border.
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Urging the country to come together ‘in a spirit of mutual respect and support’, she implored them to work ‘constructively for the future of Scotland and indeed all parts of this country’.
The Queen made clear her own deep-seated affection for the Scots, adding: ‘My family and I will do all we can to help and support you.’
The 88-year-old monarch had resisted being drawn into the referendum debate, and senior royal sources said it was an ‘unprecedented statement for an unprecedented time in our country’s history’.
Entitled ‘A Statement From Her Majesty The Queen’, and signed Elizabeth R, it read:
‘After many months of discussion, debate, and careful thought, we now know the outcome of the Referendum, and it is a result that all of us throughout the United Kingdom will respect.
For many in Scotland and elsewhere today, there will be strong feelings and contrasting emotions – among family, friends and neighbours.
That, of course, is the nature of the robust democratic tradition we enjoy in this country.
But I have no doubt that these emotions will be tempered by an understanding of the feelings of others.
Now, as we move forward, we should remember that despite the range of views that have been expressed, we have in common an enduring love of Scotland, which is one of the things that helps to unite us all.
Knowing the people of Scotland as I do, I have no doubt that Scots, like others throughout the United Kingdom, are able to express strongly-held opinions before coming together again in a spirit of mutual respect and support, to work constructively for the future of Scotland and indeed all parts of this country.
My family and I will do all we can to help and support you in this important task.’
Referring to the vote, a senior aide told the Mail last night: ‘She is head of state and this was a significant constitutional moment for the nation. It is right that the Queen should reflect and respond to that.’