Queen Elizabeth meets sturgeon after new attempt to vote on independence

Buckingham Palace said the 96-year-old Queen, who is spending the week in Scotland, received sturgeon and an official from the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh.

Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, on Tuesday announced plans for a second independence referendum in October 2023, pledging legal action if the UK government blocks it.

Voters in Scotland, which has a population of about 5.5 million, rejected independence by 55% to 45% in a 2014 referendum.

The Scottish National Party, which leads the government of semi-autonomous Scotland, says Britain’s decision in a 2016 referendum to leave the European Union – a move opposed by a majority of Scots – means the issue must be put to a second vote.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government opposes a new referendum, saying the issue was settled in 2014.

The Queen, who has missed several public events in recent months due to her mobility difficulties, is seen smiling and watching events during Scotland’s annual ‘Royal Week’.

Pictures showed her shaking hands and talking with sturgeon.

The Scottish National Party has said it wants the Queen to remain head of state if Scotland becomes independent.

The footage showed sturgeon talking to the Queen about a bottle of Scotch whiskey and other matters. “What a beautiful thing,” said the Queen.

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