|Some Scots nationalists are breaking ranks, vowing that no King George will ever rule Scotland again.|
Dennis Canavan, a former independent Labour Party M.S.P. (member of Scottish Parliament), heads Yes Scotland, charged by the ruling Scottish National Party (S.N.P.) with convincing Scots to vote for independence in a referendum planned for next year. Canavan’s ostensible boss, Alex Salmond, who is S.N.P. leader and Scotland’s First Minister (i.e. premier), had been reassuring voters that much that they cherish will remain the same: an independent Scotland would use the British pound (at least until it makes sense to adopt the euro on its own), stay in the European Union (E.U.) (though precedent is unclear on this) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and keep Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state.
|Dennis Canavan says “yes!” to independence but not to the royal family.|
|Her Majesty may live to see her dominions dwindle yet again.|
|The British Commonwealth today|
In Wales, separatists face a similar problem. The leading Welsh independentist party, Plaid Cymru, formed a coalition government there in 2007 but was turfed out by Labour in the 2011 elections. Its attempts at a comeback have been hobbled by the accession to the party leadership the following year by Leanne Wood, an ardent pacifist, socialist, and republican who was once ejected from the Welsh Assembly chamber when she referred to Queen Elizabeth II as “Mrs. Windsor.” And her equally republican party president, Jillian Evans, has raised eyebrows by appearing at events alongside violent radicals like Byddin Rhyddid Cymru, the Free Wales Army.
|Jillian Evans speaking last September while the Free Wales Army wave their flags nearby.|
Who ever said the past was past?
|James II ... or was it James VII? Well, James the Last, that’s for sure.|
[This article modified on Aug. 5, 2013, to correct misstatements regarding Canadian viceroys and the role of Queen Anne. Thanks to Brian Cowan for alerting me to these points. Any remaining errors are my own.]