Twitter has reacted with glee at the news that Downing Street was considering sending the Queen’s youngest son, Prince Edward, to live in Scotland in a bid to calm nationalist sentiment.
Edward and his wife Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, currently live in Bagshot Park in Surrey, but according to the Daily Mail, Number 10 had discussed asking them to move north of the border to “save the union”.
It is reported the couple could have lived in Holyrood Palace, the Queen’s official residence in Edinburgh, helping the Royal Family to carry out more Scottish engagements.
Buckingham Palace has said it was unaware of the proposal.
Prince Edward’s name was trending on Twitter on Saturday morning as word of the idea spread.
Writer Rupert Myers said: “We have truly lost Scotland if this is the sort of thing being cooked up.”
Alongside numerous laughing emojis, SNP MP Chris Law said: “I’m sure Prince Edward and Sophie, just couldn’t wait to take their orders from No. 10.”
Comic Janet Godley said: “Yeah... that’ll do it - seeing Prince Edward rummaging about the middle aisle of the Lidl in Maryhill looking for a bag of screen wipes is gonna make me wrap myself in a Union flag and vote Tory.”
Author Emma Kennedy added: “Imagine thinking sending Prince Edward to live in a castle is going to persuade Scots they don’t want to leave the Union.”
Many people simply asked: “Who is Prince Edward?”
SNP member James Proctor said: “Hate to break it to them, but I met Prince Edward when I was a teenager and still joined the SNP.”
But researcher Phillippa Juliet Meek-Smith pointed out: “So the news about Prince Edward going to Scotland, which I’m taking with a pinch of salt because it came from the Daily Mail, has got some thought behind it. Prince Edward will become the next Duke of Edinburgh so the reasoning is there and isn’t just a random idea.”
It is understood that Edward and Sophie were given the titles of the Earl and Countess of Wessex, rather than duchy titles, because Edward was planned to inherit the Duke of Edinburgh title from his father, Prince Philip.
Titles are a gift from the Queen at a royal’s marriage. The Wessexes are known as the Earl and Countess of Forfar when they are in Scotland.
Watch: Who is Prince Edward?
Prince Edward and Sophie married in 1999, but did not take on formal royal duties as working members of the family until 2002.
Edward was working in television, but his production company was not a success. Sophie was in public relations and had her own firm.
They have two children, Lady Louise Windsor and James, the Viscount Severn.
Despite being working royals for nearly 20 years, they aren’t as well known as younger royals like Prince William and Kate. They have become more visible during the pandemic, with the Queen having to remain shielded because of her age for most of the last 11 months.
Sophie, who has been volunteering privately as well as maintaining links with her charities, has been dubbed the Royal Family’s ‘secret weapon’.
Much of Edward’s work revolves around the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme which he took over when Prince Philip retired in 2017.
Watch: I’m a Celeb’s Ruthie Henshall thought she was off-mic during Prince Edward comments