I CAN’T for the life of me imagine why the Queen and her dysfunctional family are preparing, once more, to nail their medals and colours to the Unionist cause. It’s not as if they’ve got loads of massive houses in Scotland and get to spend as much time as they like in them rent-free and having their every whim catered for by grown men and women jouking about in tartan like large liquorice allsorts.

At the last count, the British royal family appears to be down to their last four castles and palaces in Scotland and just a few hundred thousand acres of land up here. And after a century or so of creeping up behind unsuspecting big beasties in the glens and blowing the animals’ brains out while being cheered on by the duller members of the British aristocracy, you’d think they might have moved on to something more mind-expanding … like cock-fighting and pit bull contests.

Not even their most fervent supporters would describe this minor German aristocratic line as having been blessed with keen intellects and enquiring minds. So, maybe it’s because they know they can secure places at our most prestigious university and proceed towards a decent looking degree with few questions being asked.

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Could it be the garden parties they get to host while they’re in Scotland and the boost to their egos that come with them when assorted members of the Scottish establishment line up in their ridiculous tartan trews and Carmen Miranda fruit hats?

That would certainly appeal to me. You could spend several happy hours later that night howling with laughter and peach schnapps at all those roasters in the Royal Company of Archers dressed up to look like the nobles in a Marx Brothers movie.

Four years studying quantity millinery and advanced topiary at St Andrews University don’t appear to have developed in Prince William any sense of irony. Speaking during last week’s visit to Scotland, the prince spoke of his profound connection to the place and how much he desired to pass this on to his children.

“George, Charlotte and Louis already know how dear Scotland is to both of us, and they are starting to build their own happy memories here, too,” William said of himself and his wife Kate. “We have no doubt they will grow up sharing our love and connection to Scotland from the Highlands to the central belt, from the islands to the Borders.”

Perhaps we could hazard a guess as to the nature of William’s Scottish “connections”. Certainly, there was that spell at St Andrews doing his herbaceous studies. But you’ll find more native Scots among the Bedouin tribes of the Arabian Peninsula than you’ll ever encounter at St Andrews.

Now, this is mere speculation on my part, but I’m not sure that his “love and connection” to the “central belt” will have involved a day trip to Bathgate or a wander around Cumbernauld Town Centre before getting something to make for his tea at Tesco and maybe a bunch of flowers for Kate when popping round to hers later that night.

William, who gets to call himself the Earl of Strathearn for no apparent reason when he’s in Scotland also talked about how much he adores this country. “Scotland is incredibly important to me and will always have a special place in my heart,” he said. And no f**kin wonder.

William was expressing his undying love for the country in an address to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland of which he gets to be called Lord High Commissioner for no reason that anyone can understand either.

In the history of global subservience, does any country love a small group of people more than Scotland loves this family?

During the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s trip north, a letter from the Queen was read out to the Kirk by the Reverend George Whyte, “chaplain-in-ordinary” and principal clerk.

IT seems we also give this family the use of a customised spiritual adviser during their tartan peregrinations … just in case they get carried away with the drinking and the shagging and need reminding of their lofty positions in Scotland’s national church.

And damn right they should. When it comes to embracing our Presbyterian rectitude not even the royals should be getting any dispensations.

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In her letter, the Queen also spoke of her abiding love for the Scottish gift that keeps on giving. It spoke of “new bonds” that have been “forged in times of emergency” that “will serve us all well in the future as the United Kingdom seeks to rebuild and reshape community life”. Her sentiments, taken with those of William, have been interpreted as evidence that, just as in 2014, the royal House of Windsor has been conscripted into the forthcoming constitutional battle for the Union. This has been greeted with a degree of outrage from Yes supporters who insist the British royals should stay out of this fight. But would you?

Basically, the British royal family gets to use Scotland as its own personal Tartan Disneyland. It always has done. While Scotland remains in the Union, its large extended family is given the most picturesque half of the country to shoot animals, ride horses, walk their dogs and fish in some of the world’s grandest waterways. And all without having to encounter too many actual Scots and their unpredictable ways and rough manners.

They don’t even need to send out for a Just Eat or a Domino’s, because in each of their Scottish palaces they have a domestic household trained to meet their every need. This is the extent of the royals’ “connectedness” to Scotland. And how can any of us blame them if they’re keen to avoid any constitutional upheaval that might jeopardise this Caledonian Xanadu? Even the government of the country that wants to secede from the Union shows no signs of calling them in for a “wee word” about the palaces and the Highland estates. And look, although I’m a republican, I can understand that a lot of people like the Queen at least.

Hell, I met her once about 20 years ago and she charmed me to the tops of my green, white and orange socks.

But I’m sure we could come to a more edifying arrangement that doesn’t involve her being the head of state and possessing Europe’s grandest property portfolio. I’d be for letting her continue as the chieftain of the Glenfeckin Highland Games and maybe keep a wee timeshare in Crail.

We indulge the House of Windsor by making of Scotland nothing more than a year-round, all-inclusive, holiday playground to them. So, what does that make us?