AN SNP MP has said now is the right time to be having a debate on the future of the monarchy in Scotland as the coronation of King Charles approaches.

Stewart McDonald – who is in favour of an elected head of state - has said it is “right and proper” the party debates its position on the institution with the crowning of the new monarch on the horizon in May.

The former SNP defence spokesperson has urged the party to make sure it clarifies its views on the royal family before the next independence referendum.

He tweeted: “Although I favour an elected head of state, I always felt that maintaining the monarchy would allow those with a distinct sense of Britishness to maintain that important part of their identity after a vote of independence – something we should be mindful of.

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“But as a new monarch is to be crowned, it is surely right and proper that we debate our party’s position on this before any future referendum.

“A modern policy that shows generosity to Scots with a keen British identity could allow for an orderly transfer to republic over time.

“That would respect those with a sense of connection to the institution of the monarchy, which is a powerful thing for some people, but also allow us to modernise our constitutional affairs to be more reflective of public opinion and 21st century norms, in a timely way.”

McDonald has said the debate need not be “urgent or all-consuming” or take away from the SNP’s argument independence would improve fairness, living standards and public services in Scotland.

The National:

Scotland’s Future, the blueprint for independence before the 2014 referendum, said: “Scotland will be a constitutional monarchy for as long as the people of Scotland wish us to be so.”

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Nicola Sturgeon spoke of her respect for Queen Elizabeth during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations and paid heartfelt tributes to her after her death.

She said she wanted the Queen and her successors to remain head of state if Scotland became independent.