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Wednesday, 22 May, 2002, 16:49 GMT 17:49 UK
Queen urged to change title
The Queen
The SNP said it was a "respectful request"
The Queen has been urged to change her title as she prepares to visit Scotland as part of her Golden Jubilee tour.

According to the Scottish National Party, the Queen, when in Scotland, should be known as Elizabeth I, Queen of Scots, rather than Elizabeth II.

The SNP said the change would correct "a bad mistake" made by her advisers 50 years ago.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the issue.

Winnie Ewing
Winnie Ewing: "Welcome reform"

SNP president Dr Winnie Ewing said that a letter she sent to the Queen was "a respectful request" to correct a mistake.

The party said that in 1952, many Scots felt "strongly" their nationhood was downgraded by her title.

The Elizabethan era predated the Act of Union and Scotland therefore never had an Elizabeth I, the SNP has asserted.

A legal challenge to Scotland's senior law officer, the Lord Advocate, was made in 1953 over the use of the title in Scotland.

'Queen of Scots'

Explaining the move Dr Ewing said: "This is a respectful request to the Queen to use the occasion of the Golden Jubilee to put to rights a bad mistake that her advisers made in 1952.

"When the Queen came to the opening of the Scottish Parliament in 1999, our own Presiding Officer, Sir David Steel, made the point that her correct title in Scotland should really be Queen of Scots.

"Things have changed so much over the past 50 years - the monarchy has changed, Scotland has changed with our own parliament, and a change in the Queen's title in Scotland to reflect Scottish nationhood would be a very welcome and appropriate reform."

In her letter, Dr Ewing wrote: "The Scottish people have long understood that since there was never an Elizabeth I of Scotland, the question of Her Majesty's title in Scotland has been controversial."

The Queen
The Queen has embarked on a Golden Jubilee tour

Dr Ewing intends to retire from Scottish politics after the parliamentary elections in 2003.

She received support from SNP Euro MP Sir Neil MacCormick, whose father John MacCormick was involved in the unsuccessful 1953 legal challenge.

"This was a huge issue in Scotland and I well remember my father's famous case of MacCormick vs the Lord Advocate and all the excitement it generated," Mr MacCormick said.

"It would be good to think that this wrong would be righted 50 years on in the Golden Jubilee year."

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Scotland's Brian Taylor reports
"The SNP says Scotland does not have an Elizabeth II"

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22 Jul 01 | Scotland
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