Alex Salmond has warned the royal family to “stay out” of the Scottish independence debate, after Prince William met Gordon Brown.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met the former Labour prime minister – who has recently launched a new campaign to protect the Union – at the Palace of Holyroodhouse last week.
Mr Salmond, in a message to Alba supporters on Monday, told Prince William not to get embroiled in the debate with such “foolish” meetings.
He said: “What on earth Prince William thought he was doing having a confab with Gordon Brown, just as Gordon set up his last campaign for the Union.
“We should have no hesitation in seeing from that meeting, unionist preparation for attempting to persuade a constitutional monarchy to intervene in a constitutional debate which should be left to the people.
“It would be very wise for the royal family to follow what has been the Queen’s example over her long reign, to keep the monarchy over and above politics, and it would be foolish to have a situation in which it can be said that the monarchy is involved in the Scottish constitutional debate.
“Back in 2014 David Cameron made a last-ditch, desperate and failed attempt to drag the Queen into politics.
“The Brown meeting shows poor judgement on both sides but the same degree of unscrupulous unionist desperation. The independence team should take note.”
The former first minister, who failed in his bid to return to Holyrood earlier this month, added: “It is quite clear that the forces of the union, David Cameron previously, and now Gordon Brown, have no compunction in getting themselves ready and set for what is coming in the next referendum campaign.
“However, the Scottish Parliament elections have left them in a state of disarray.
“That is why the case for Scottish independence must be progressed now as a matter of urgency.
“It would be infinitely better for the independence side to seize the moment and strike when the iron is hot to progress the constitutional issue.”