Sophie and Edward were at the centre of a proposed plan drawn up last year by Downing Street officials, insiders have claimed. Worried about surging SNP support and the growing calls for a second independence referendum, No10 wanted Sophie and Edward to move to Scotland and become the local branch of the Royal Family.
The Daily Mail reports the couple would have moved into Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, which is the Queen’s official residence in Scotland.
From there, they would have focused their attention on Scotland, carrying out more engagements and visits in the nation.
Prince Edward and Sophie received their Scottish titles Earl and Countess of Forfar in 2019, on the Earl’s 55th birthday.
In late January, they held a series of video calls with Scottish organisations to catch up with local frontline services, volunteers and businesses.
Sophie and Prince Edward live in Bagshot Park, Surrey, with their two children, Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn.
The idea of transferring the Queen’s youngest child to Edinburgh, however, was not welcomed by many Scottish Twitter users.
One, joking, wrote: “OK lads, back on the bus. Indy was a nice dream. But we’ve got nothing whatsoever in our arsenal to counter this…”
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Another said: “If Prince Edward, Earl of Forfar, is to bide in Scotland then he and his brood must take up residence at Forfar Castle in accordance with his title.
“The key can be picked up at the newsagent in Castle Street. It’s a knockout idea”.
A third added: “The day that you believe sending in Prince Edward as the solution to a problem is the day that you know the game is up….completely”.
Senior members of the Royal Family are expected to remain strictly neutral when it comes to political issues.
However, in the run-up to the 2014 Independence Referendum, the Queen was caught up in the debate on Scotland’s future.
While in Balmoral, she was asked by a well-wisher her view on the upcoming vote, to which she replied she hoped “people will think very carefully about the future”.
This comment was seen as a message of support to the No faction and the union, but Buckingham Palace insisted she did not breach her constitutional impartiality.
It said in a statement at the time: “Any suggestion that the Queen would wish to influence the outcome of the current referendum campaign is categorically wrong.
“Her Majesty is simply of the view this is a matter for the people of Scotland.”
Fears for the union have ramped up after all three polls held since June last year focused on how Scottish people would vote in another Independence referendum have since the Yes faction taking the lead.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the independence referendum was a once in a generation decision.
But First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s party signalled it will push for another vote to be held after the May election if it retains a majority in the Scottish Parliament.
In 2014, the No faction won 55 percent against 45 percent.
A Downing Street source told the Daily Mail last night said no formal request had been made to the Palace for Edward and Sophie to move to Scotland.
Express.co.uk has contacted Number 10 for comment.
Buckingham Palace did not comment on this story.