WHEN Charlie Reid heard about the Queen's death he was in a café in his hometown of Edinburgh.

The Proclaimers singer had gone to a pub later on in the evening, and while the news was on in the background, the TV was on silent.

The reaction, Reid said, was fairly muted.

“You wouldn’t have believed anything had happened,” he tells The National. “The idea from so much of the media in the last week, speaking as if everybody felt the same way, I think that’s no longer true."

READ MORE: Britain has 'nose-dived' in last 10 years - and Brexit is proof, say Proclaimers

The feeling of millions of republicans, Reid argues, has been shut out of much of the news coverage - and he doesn't feel his views are represented.

Polling shows the UK used to hold more importance for the royal family, and Reid remembers that all too well.

The Scottish musician, speaking just ahead of the release of The Proclaimers' 12th album Dentures Out,  recalls speaking to his mother after the Queen's father, George, died - and how upset people were.

"They were much more deferential in those days," he adds.

The National: Charlie Reid of The Proclaimers spoke to The National ahead of the launch of their 12th studio album Dentures OutCharlie Reid of The Proclaimers spoke to The National ahead of the launch of their 12th studio album Dentures Out (Image: Murdo MacLeod)

“But if you believe the media now, the whole country is in deep mourning, and that's really not what I see. I think I see a country that's in trouble, certainly.”

While it may be a very important moment for the UK, the 60-year-old suggests it’s not for the reasons monarchists think.

He continues: “There was an article by Peter Hitchens in the paper the other day that compared the passing of Queen Elizabeth to the passing of Churchill, and as the last bells tolled at Winston Churchill’s funeral, somehow people understood the British Empire was over.

“His comparison was that as the last bells toll with Queen Elizabeth’s funeral, maybe some people start thinking of the Union itself, that Britain itself is over, and I think he may be on to something.”

The 500 Miles (I'm Gonna Be) star has been unhappy with much of the media coverage since the Queen’s passing. It has, he argues, only represented one voice while claiming to speak on behalf of the entire Union.

The National: Many republicans have said they feel left out of the media's coverage in the wake of the Queen's deathMany republicans have said they feel left out of the media's coverage in the wake of the Queen's death (Image: PA)

“The way they've acted you'd think the story was that it's just about people's grief and people respecting her but the real story is that in 2022 an unelected head of state has died,” he says.

“Her son, similarly unelected, has taken over and the media has encouraged no debate on that. They’re unquestioning. The way they report that everyone in Britain feels the same way, they don’t. This is just simply untrue.

“On the proclamation of King Charles in Oxford, I think one guy was lifted for shouting ‘who elected him?’ and I thought that guy spoke for me, and he speaks for loads of other people. Not just in Scotland, but right around the UK.”

Reid said there were millions of people across the Union, including “a high percentage, perhaps a majority” in Scotland who are not having their voices heard.

“Loads of people are like me, they had personal respect for the woman but they do not support the monarchy.

The National: The Proclaimers have just released their most political album yetThe Proclaimers have just released their most political album yet (Image: Beautiful Days)

“They are showing respect for her and her son but the idea that they agree with an unelected head of state in 2022 is unbelievable.

“And that coming a fortnight after the most dishonest prime minister in my lifetime was forced from power and a few thousand people elected a new Prime Minister - and no election was held for the British people to have their say.

“The words ‘British’ and ‘democracy’ ring hollow at the moment. With the Tory election and ascension of Prince Charles it starts to look very hollow to me.”

Polling earlier this year found fewer than half of all Scots (45%) supported the monarchy under Queen Elizabeth. There are questions over whether this level of support will continue under King Charles III.

Before the new sovereign took over from his mother only a third of people in the UK thought he’d make a good King. After the Queen’s death though, that jumped to nearly two-thirds.

Reid says there is “no doubt” the Queen was a huge international figure and that her death is a massive change for Britain but now the question should be “why do we have an unelected head of state”?

He says while he is personally anti-monarchy the issue of whether an independent Scotland should retain the royal family should be put to the Scottish people, similar to membership of the EU.

“The issue should not be assumed that people want an unelected head of state because I think they would get a majority for a republic.”

The Proclaimers’ new album, Dentures Out, is largely about the decline in Britain and the desire for nostalgia during troubled times. Scotland, Reid says, isn’t immune to this decline as part of the UK.

“I think there's been a different dynamic here with the parliaments since 1999. But I think you can't be part of something and then not be part of this decline. Scotland's been part of the British decline, there's no doubt about that.

“The hope that I see is among the people who want a different kind of country - a small, independent European state, who want to take a position in the world and act for the benefit of the citizens of the country, not in a feeble attempt to project global power."

On indyref2, Reid said there was “next to no chance the British state will have a referendum" soon because "they know now they could lose”.

He's not convinced of the SNP’s legal battle against the UK over holding a referendum was the way forward either, saying the party has painted themselves into a corner on their independence strategy.

READ MORE: 'There's no question': Proclaimers asked if they'd give up fame for independence

Westminster’s refusal of another referendum though is something Reid says should prompt people to “question how democratic the British state is”.

With the album, the musician said he “wasn’t having a go at Britain”.

“I’m not anti-British. I’m mainly speaking about what I see happening around me. There’s a general decline in the west - it’s hitting Europe very hard.

“I think it’s going to be a very difficult couple of years – maybe the most difficult in my lifetime.

“But the hope lies in a modern, independent Scotland where we would redraw the priorities, the people’s priorities, and equality and fairness would be at the heart of it - and the people who rule over us would be elected rather than appointed.”