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A nation fit for a king? Scots face new era as independence case looms

- REUTERS - Andrew Macaskill AND Lindsay Dunsmuir - SEP 12, 2022 -

A protester holds up a sign amidst the crowd during the Accession Proclamation Ceremony for Britain's King Charles, following the death of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, at Mercat Cross in Edinburgh, Scotland, Britain September 11, 2022

  • Death will fuel independence debate in Scotland

  • Some want republic should Scotland gain independence

  • Incident in Edinburgh shows divisions

  • Queen had deep love for Scotland

EDINBURGH, Sept 12 (Reuters) - In Edinburgh's Old Town as the proclamation for King Charles III was read out and a gun salute echoed from the city's ancient castle, a small but noisy group of protesters began heckling.

In a ceremony dating back centuries, a government official dressed in red ceremonial robes stood on a stone plinth outside St Giles' Cathedral and read the proclamation. He then declared "God Save the King" and the crowd shouted the phrase back.

Connor Beaton, a 26-year-old wearing a t-shirt with the words "another Scotland is possible", had been waiting for this moment. He cupped both his hands around his mouth and began booing as loud as he could.

Other protesters held up signs saying: "Republic Now", and "Our Republic for a Democratic Future". The police arrested one woman after she held up a handwritten sign saying: "Fuck Imperialism. Abolish the monarchy".

In Scotland, the death of Queen Elizabeth has led to a moment of national reflection in a restless country. There is both admiration for the monarchy and those who feel her death marks the closing of a long chapter.

It will also fuel the already heated debate on whether Scotland should be independent.

England's political partner for more than 300 years, Scotland rejected by 55% to 45% the chance to leave in a 2014 referendum.


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