‘William’s the future King of Britain!’ Nicola Sturgeon slapped down for royal tour snub
Kate Middleton and Prince William board Royal Train
The First Minister revealed on Monday her SNP Government had reminded the Palace of the strict coronavirus restrictions that have now been put in place in the country ahead of the Royal couple’s trip. At the end of November, the Scottish Government made crossing the Scottish border illegal in an attempt to bring the rising levels of COVID-19 infections under control. While travelling across the border is allowed for work purposes, people caught entering or leaving Scotland without a reasonable excuse could be forced to pay a £60. Royal sources insisted the trip is permitted under the work purposes exemption.
But First Minister Ms Sturgeon revealed at her daily coronavirus briefing on Monday that the Scottish Government “made sure the Royal Household were aware, as you would expect, of the restrictions in place in Scotland so that could inform both the decision and the planning of the visit”.
The SNP have insisted Ms Sturgeon never attempted to stop William and Kate vising the country, with a spokesperson saying: “The First Minister welcomes the support shown by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for Scotland’s NHS.”
But her comments have sparked a furious response from critics, with one Conservative MP telling MailOnline: “This man (Prince William) is the future King of Scotland.
“It is very unsubtle and I think it will backfire on her because there are a lot of loyalist Scots who would be pretty appalled that she would behave in such a rude manner.
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“She should know better.”
Tory MSP Murdo Fraser told the Herald newspaper in Scotland: “It seems very petty to be criticising the Royal Family for wanting to thank Scottish NHS staff for their heroic efforts.
“Given that the First Minister had earlier visited NHS staff, presumably after travelling from her home to work too, it seems a bit odd that she didn’t back this trip and make it clear that it was within the rules.
“Rather than thanking William and Kate for the work they are doing to raise morale at these difficult times, the First Minister seems to be afraid of angering the republicans in her party, so she pandered to them instead.”
Several people also took to social media to throw their support behind William and Kate, while also lashing out at Ms Sturgeon over her comments.
One person tweeted: “She’s (Ms Sturgeon) has never heard of the importance of the feelgood factor clearly!
“Kate and William are demonstrating a real understanding of the needs of the British public.
“Maybe Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t want to be British, but she has people she’s responsible for who might welcome a well done!’
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Another said: “The nerve of this woman trying to stop the future King and Queen visiting Scotland to thank essential workers.’
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived in Edinburgh on Monday. They were greeted by bagpipes serenading them with Christmas songs, before the popular Royal couple meeting workers at a Scottish Ambulance Service hub.
The purpose of their 48-hour train tour is to spread festive cheer among frontline workers and has also been designed to showcase the UK’s arts, heritage and live performance sector.
But First Minister Ms Sturgeon revealed at her daily coronavirus briefing: “The Scottish Government was advised about the intention to visit.
“We made sure that the Royal Household were aware, as you would expect, of the restrictions in place in Scotland so that could inform both the decision and the planning of the visit.
“Any more questions on that should be directed to the Royal household.”
Medical experts also raised concerns about William and Kate’s trip to Scotland, with Dr Katrian Farrell, a haematologist at NHS Forth Valley, tweeting: “I absolutely do not understand why the #RoyalTrainTour is being allowed in Edinburgh.
“Edinburgh is in tier 3. No non-essential travel into or out of region.
“Would @scotgov or @policescotland care to comment?”
Professor Devi Sridhar, a chair of Global Public Health at Edinburgh University Medical School, added: “Love it here but some things I will never understand about Britain.
“Aren’t we all in a pandemic and living under travel restrictions?”
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