On January 16, 1707 the Act of Union was passed under Queen Anne. This historic document, and one of the few important legislative pieces to be passed under her reign, brought together the thrones and Parliaments of England and Scotland, formally creating the United Kingdom.
It was a long time coming, almost a century had passed since James VI & I took over control of the English and Scottish thrones because of his shared Tudor blood with Elizabeth I. Between that time and 1707, the monarch of both Kingdoms had to deal with separate Parliaments, issues and regional disorder. The Act of Union brought together common frustrations, as well as common glory, under the crown and the royal family staked its home base in London spending only a few weeks in Scotland (a tradition that continues today). However, regardless of home base, blood wars or national pride one giant unifying factor for the English, Scots (and Welsh) has always been the Crown.
Until recently. This year the Scots will have a referendum regarding their ‘United Kingdom’ and will vote on whether or not to break away and form their own independent nation again. Spurred on by William Wallace, or should I say Mel Gibson, in the 90s classic Braveheart, Scottish nationalism began to boil once again. In 1999, under the current reign of Queen Elizabeth (II), the Scots got their own Parliament to handle domestic issues. But now that Parliament may become the source for all decisions about Scotland.
What would Queen Anne say about this vote? What would the current Queen even say about this vote? Well, not much. The Windsors, especially The Queen, have an affinity for Scotland spending weeks in their Northern part of their kingdom. Under the vote, even with Scottish independence from the rest of the UK, Scotland will still keep The Queen and her heirs on the Scottish throne. Nationalism for William and Kate is still strong too, and the Scotts don’t want to lose their part in the family fun.
Although anticipation for the referendum is high, the vote will probably not come to pass. If Scotland left the UK it would be crippled economically and its global presence as a political and economic power would be limited. However, Scottish independence and nationalism will always be a constant issue in Scotland and throughout the UK. Luckily for us, Scotland, like the royals, won’t be leaving this Kingdom anytime soon.