“The Queen has pleaded with voters in Scotland to “think carefully” before breaking apart the 300-year-old union with England.
In a dramatic intervention just days before the independence vote, Her Majesty spoke to crowds outside Crathie Kirk near Balmoral.
She told one well-wisher who had joked about the referendum: “I hope everybody thinks very carefully about the future.”
The intervention is significant as the Queen has refused to make any formal statement about Thursday’s historic vote, despite reports she is deeply worried.
A new poll of polls suggests the pro-union No camp remains ahead with a tiny lead of 51% to 49%.
But with up to half a million voters yet to decide, both sides accept the outcome is too close to call.
A royal source said yesterday: “The Queen respects the will of the Scottish people and she will work with them whatever the result.
“But she wants to make sure people have thought about the long-term repercussions of breaking up the union.”
The source added: “The Queen remains constitutionally impartial and she’s not coming down on either side of the argument.”
But Labour MPs said it was clear the Queen did not want her country ripped apart.
“This shows her preference is for us to stay together,” said Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk.”