THE ROYALS AND SCOTLAND: Royals of the Future with a Scottish History

Article excerpt

THEY are the future of the monarchy - and their popularity will decide if we want kings and queens to reign over our future generations.

The young royals - Princes William and Harry, and their cousins Peter and Zara Phillips - are seen by the Queen's advisers as the secret weapon to revamp the monarchy's image in Scotland.

All four have inherited a love for the country, particularly the outdoor lifestyle so easily accessible at Balmoral.

Princess Anne's children, Peter and Zara, already have strong links to Scotland through their Gordonstoun schooling.

And William has indicated he wishes to go to university in Edinburgh or St Andrews.

Peter Phillips, 22, loved his time at Gordonstoun, excelling at sport and even representing the Scottish Schoolboys rugby team.

Like his mother, he was born in England but in his heart he is Scottish.

He harbours a fierce ambition to pull on the famous blue jersey for the full national team, and even cheered on Scotland during the recent Euro2000 football play-off against the Auld Enemy.

His sister, Zara, is also completely at home in Scotland.

She adores the rugged, outdoor lifestyle on offer at Gordonstoun and Balmoral, which she visits regularly.

But she is also comfortable hanging out with friends in trendy bars and restaurants around Edinburgh.

However, neither has the same royal stature as prince William the man who will one day be king.

Prince Charles knows the Royal Family do not command the place in the affections of Scots that they once did.

And he knows that a continuing move towards independence could ultimately mean that, by the time his son comes to the throne, Scotland will not form part of his kingdom. …