THIS weekend marks the Queen's 70th year on the throne and events are taking place across the UK. 

Celebrations are more muted in Scotland than England though, and recent polls found fewer than half of Scots back keeping the monarchy.

Although First Minister Nicola Sturgeon took the bank holiday Friday to reassure the press of her plan for an independent Scotland to keep the monarchy, many independence supporters argue for a Scottish republic. 

So what have the royals themselves said about Scottish independence?

What links do the royals have to politics in Scotland?

Last year William and wife Kate, the Countess of Strathearn, held a private meeting with Gordon Brown – who is running a renewed campaign to keep Scotland in the Union.

The talks with the former prime minister and chief of the Our Scottish Future think tank took place at the Queen’s official Edinburgh residence.

It came amid reports that the Queen will lead a royal “charm offensive” to save the Union alongside the Earl and Countess of Strathearn. The strategy is said to be discretely backed by Downing Street.

And earlier this year, it was reported again that the royals were planning to spend more time in Scotland to bolster support for the Union.

The National:

The 96-year-old monarch has reportedly told palace insiders she does not want to see Scotland leave the UK under her watch – with another independence referendum expected in 2023.

A royal source told the Sun on Sunday: “Protocol prevents her from expressing a political opinion but she wants the people of Scotland to know of her wish that they reject independence.

"The country and Balmoral has been an incredibly important part of her life. She has always been keen to stress that she is the Queen of the entire UK."

What happened ahead of the 2014 referendum?

Although the head of state is supposed to remain strictly neutral on political matters, these reports are not the first to suggest the royals hold an interest in Scottish independence.

Ahead of the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, the Queen told a well-wisher outside Crathie Kirk, close to her Balmoral estate: “Well, I hope people will think very carefully about the future.”

The comments followed a poll putting Yes in the lead for the first time. Better Together campaigners considered the Queen’s comment to be helpful to their cause.

According to Lionel Barber, former editor of the Financial Times, the Queen’s warning was part of an orchestrated plan to boost the Unionist case.

"I can tell you that down in London they panicked," the journalist told The Sunday Times.

READ MORE: Indyref2: Nicola Sturgeon should keep the monarchy to win poll, says John Curtice

"There is this scene where I am at Buckingham Palace invited by the roguish Duke of York to lunch with the Chinese foreign minister, and Andrew suddenly half lets loose that the Queen is going to intervene on the Sunday.

"They had clearly planned it ... it was very artfully done. I'm sure that David Cameron did the same thing which he later did with Barack Obama who he got to intervene on Brexit.

"I bet, and I can't prove it, that he made a desperate SOS call to Buckingham Palace to set that Sunday thing up ... Andrew knew about it."

The SNP MP Tommy Sheppard said if Barber’s report is true, it is “shocking and extremely concerning”.

What was the whole "purring" thing?

Following the September 2014 referendum, David Cameron told the former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg that the Queen “purred down the line” when he called to tell her No had won.

He later apologised for the comments, saying: “I am extremely sorry and very embarrassed about it. I have made my apologies and I think I will probably be making some more. I am very sorry about it.”