It’s a complicated picture.
Not all anti-monarchists support independence, and not all independence activists want to abandon the monarchy.
John Swinney, Deputy Leader of Scotland and a member of the Scottish National Independence Party, told the BBC on Monday of the “deep and warm relationship” between Scotland and the Queen.
Indeed, the Royal Mile is likely to be crowded with mourners, tourists and casual observers just there for show.
More than an hour before Charles arrived, the crowds were already four or five against the barriers outside.
Traditional Scottish tunes wafted from the surrounding gift shops.
Catherine Vost, 69, and Anne Tullo, 62, traveled from Glasgow for the King’s appearance.
“We’re not moving now, we’ve got a good spot,” said Tullo, who works as a driving instructor, as she kept her spot by the barrier in the bright midday sun.
“We are here to say our last goodbyes to our incredible queen, whom we have loved and followed all our lives,” added Vost, a historian. “Charles will also be very warmly welcomed.”
Millions more will be watching at home, in Britain, the Commonwealth, the United States and beyond.
TV cameras were already trained on Charles in the morning as he addressed Parliament for the first time as king before heading north to Scotland.
He and Camilla, the Queen Consort, will be greeted with a 21-gun salute, a guard of honor and a military band playing the first verse of the national anthem – now changed to ‘God Save the King’..”
He and other members of the Royal Family will visit Holyroodhouse’s Throne Room, where the Queen’s coffin is kept. It will then begin the solemn journey to the cathedral, with Charles leading members of the royal family on foot while other family members follow in carriages. A drumbeat of guns will fire at one-minute intervals from Edinburgh Castle, which sits atop a plinth of volcanic rock overlooking the picturesque city.
Once this procession has crept up to the Cathedral, the Queen’s coffin will remain there for 24 hours so that the public has a first chance to pay their respects.
Many see this Scottish send-off as fitting.
The modern British sovereign was born from the union of “two crowns”, when James VI of Scotland became James I of England in 1603 after the death of Queen Elizabeth I, as Prescott of Bangor University points out. .
There is no doubt that the late Queen’s love for the highlands was deeply and sincerely felt. But the roots of the monarch’s Scottish identity are also rooted in dispute and controversy.
Some historians say the tartan, Highland Games and other Scottish trappings were co-opted by the London-based monarch from the 1820s in an attempt to curry favor with wayward Scots.
The late queen knew the importance of symbolism and landmark events in preserving the enduring popularity and legitimacy of the ruler herself.
“You have to see it to believe it,” she once said. And on Monday, the royal family will certainly be seen.