On September 18th, Scotland will vote either Yes or No on independence from Great Britain, though Reuters reports that citizens will likely retain Queen Elizabeth as their head of state (as many of the Commonwealth realms do).
“Scotland will be a constitutional monarchy for as long as the people of Scotland wish us to be so,” the Scottish National Government says.
Not much will change for Her Majesty, then, whose family holidays at Balmoral Castle four months out of the year. The Queen famously joked to children in Cumbria last July that she’d like her great-granchild to arrive sooner rather than later, since she was due to start her holiday in Scotland (Prince George made his debut the following Monday, July 22nd, 2013).
“She absolutely loves it here – she spends four months a year here, and it’s not as though she has to,” a Balmoral employee told Reuters. “It’s run just as it was under Victoria. It’s nice to keep it in the family.”
Balmoral has been in the family since Prince Albert bought it for Queen Victoria in 1852, and the royals enjoy coming north to fish, hunt, and cook out (on which occasions the Queen does the washing up).
“If you live in this sort of life, which people don’t very much, you live very much by continuity and tradition,” Her Majesty once said in a documentary about the family’s time on the estate.
Princess Margaret was born in Scotland, and the Queen Mother spent a lot of time at her family’s ancestral home, Glamis Castle.
“It will be something she will be looking at with extremely close interest because historically and to this day she feels Scotland is a very important part of the country as a whole,” MP Mary Macleod told Reuters of the Queen.
Whatever the Scots decide, royal watchers can (perhaps safely) assume that the Queen’s heart will never leave that country.
“Those Highland moors mean a lot to her,” biographer Robert Lacey said. “If I could speculate about what she might be thinking, she’s thinking whichever way the vote goes, I can still go to Balmoral.”