FEWER than half of Scots support keeping the monarchy, according to a new poll. 

Almost six in 10 people across Britain want to hang on to the Royal Family for the foreseeable future, with just a quarter saying the end of the Queen's reign would be an appropriate time to start a republic.

A whopping 85% still believe the monarchy will be around in a decade's time.

But the poll - carried out by the British Future think tank - also found only 45% in Scotland said they wanted to keep the monarchy, with well over a third saying the end of the Queen's reign would be the right moment for Britain to become a republic.

Some 19% either rejected the choice, or said they didn’t know.

The research suggests cultural and ideological splits are emerging across the Union and it comes at a pivotal point for the royal family, as Prince Charles absorbs most of his mother's duties.

But the SNP has said it is committed to retaining the monarchy if the country votes for independence and the British Future poll does stand in contrast to a Panelbase one carried out last summer.

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It was worded differently to this recent survey and found 47% of Scottish adults would vote to keep a royal head of state, compared with 36% who would favour an elected head of state.

The poll also showed weaker support for the monarchy among young people and ethnic minorities.  Only 40% of 18 to 24-year-olds backed keeping the monarchy, while 37% of people from an ethnic minority did so.

Younger people also expressed ambivalence about the future of the Royal Family, with 37% feeling the end of the Queen’s reign would be the right time to become a republic.

It comes as members of the Royal Family will make visits to all four home nations next month to mark the 70th anniversary of the Queen taking the throne.

Anne, the Princess Royal, will visit Scotland while Prince Edward and his wife Sophie will visit Northern Ireland over the extended bank holiday weekend of June 2 to 5.

Prince William and his wife Kate - who visited Scotland last week - will visit Wales but there will be no public roles for Prince Harry or Andrew.

The findings are included in a forthcoming British Future report looking at how attitudes have changed in the 10 years since the last Jubilee.

Sunder Katwala, director of British Future, said: “Major events can bring people together if they are done in an inclusive way that broadens their reach and appeal.

“Getting this right would be good for our society – and for the monarchy too, helping address some of the challenges it faces to stay relevant in modern Britain, particularly in Scotland.”