THE Queen plans to spend more time in Scotland to shore up support for the Union, according to reports.

The 96-year-old has reportedly told palace insiders and family that she does not want to see the UK broken up during her reign – with another independence referendum expected by 2024.

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.

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"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."

It is not the first time the independence debate has seen alleged royal interventions.

In the run-up to the 2014 independence referendum, the Queen told a royal follower outside Crathie Kirk, near the Balmoral estate in Aberdeenshire: “Well, I hope people will think very carefully about the future.”

And then-prime minister David Cameron found himself at the centre of controversy when he claimed Elizabeth “purred” down the phone when he rang her to tell her Scotland had voted to remain in the UK.

Nicola Sturgeon has said the Scottish Government will hold a second independence referendum by the end of 2023.

But she faces challenges such as securing permission from a hostile UK Government and it’s suspected the fight could end up in the courts.

This year marks the Platinum Jubilee of the Queen’s reign.