Queen concerned over Scotland's independence from UK

Queen Elizabeth II is very concerned that Scotland will vote for independence from the UK this month and is receiving daily updates on the situation, a media report said on Sunday.

London: Queen Elizabeth II is very concerned that Scotland will vote for independence from the UK this month and is receiving daily updates on the situation, a media report said on Sunday.

Buckingham Palace aides and ministers close to the 88-year-old British monarch told 'The Sunday Times' that the prospect of a "yes" vote "horrifies" her household.

"The Queen is a unionist. Lots of people were telling us that it was going to be OK but there is now a great deal of concern," a senior royal source was quoted as saying.

The news comes as the latest opinion poll figures for the newspaper reported that the pro-independence camp has taken a two-point lead for the first time and are poised to triumph in the referendum on September 18.

The YouGov poll puts the "yes" campaign on 51 per cent, with the unionists on 49 per cent ? overturning a 22-point lead for the Better Together campaign in the space of a month.

The poll of 1,084 people, carried out between September?2 and 5, is the first and only serious study to put the Yes campaign ahead.

It also reported that 54 per cent of Scottish voters want the Queen to remain head of state, with 31 per cent preferring an elected figurehead.

In the UK as a whole, just 45 per cent think she should remain the Scottish head of state.

Scotland's first minister Alex Salmond has said the union of the Scottish and English crowns, dating back to 1603, would not be affected by a "yes" vote to dissolve the union, which was created in 1707.

Palace aides say the Queen is concerned about what independence would mean for the Church of Scotland.

She is bound by oath to preserve the church in Scotland where it is self-governing.

A palace spokesperson said: "The referendum is a matter for the people of Scotland: the Queen remains strictly neutral on this, as she does on all political issues."

"The Queen has maintained a close interest in the referendum as she does with all major matters of public debate and is being kept informed by her ministers and officials in the usual way," the spokesperson said.

Responding to the latest opinion poll, UK Chancellor George Osborne pledged that in the next few days there would be a plan for more powers for the Scottish Parliament.

With just 11 days of campaigning left, both sides are stepping up their bids for the wavering voters who could yet sway the result.

On September 18, voters will be asked the Yes or No question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"