TOP Scottish historian Sir Tom Devine has claimed that the cause of Scottish independence is “virtually dead for at least a generation”.

In comments published by the BBC, the emeritus professor at Edinburgh University stated that: "Given recent events, I would honestly have to say that the cause of independence is virtually dead for at least a generation." 

Speaking on the strength of the Union, he argues that compared to his late mother, King Charles is "in a position of much greater strength as far as the unity of his kingdoms are concerned".

Devine put the diminishing chance of Scottish independence down to the recent controversy surrounding the SNP’s finances.

In the BBC article, the historian also highlighted the contrast between the state of the UK at the start of King Charles's reign compared to when the late queen took the throne. 

Devine said: "I think that [Queen Elizabeth's coronation] was the opening of a new age symbolised by the new monarchy.

"There's very little celebration of where we are in society at the moment. Depression is abroad among the citizenry."

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Devine argued that the situation Humza Yousaf has inherited has damaged any chance of the SNP leader breaking up the Union.

Yousaf has previously declared himself a republican, but according to Devine getting rid of the monarchy will be the last thing on Yousaf’s mind.

This is despite a clear lack of excitement in Scotland over the coronation of King Charles – compared to other parts of the UK.

Polling by YouGov showed that four-fifths of respondents in Scotland said they didn't care very much – or at all – about the coronation.

This could be due to the political makeup of Scotland, support for the monarchy is lowest amongst SNP supporters, with Labour voters also less likely to support the royal family than the Conservatives – the party in Scotland where support amongst its members is highest.

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However, the official SNP line is to retain Charles as head of state in the event that Scotland votes for independence, at least to begin with.

The monarchy has come under more scrutiny of late due to the multi-million-pound coronation of King Charles on May 6 – with bills being footed by the taxpayer in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis.