Royal couple the Earl and Countess of Strathearn are being lined up to spend more time in Scotland over unionist fears politicians are “losing” the country.
Palace aides want William and Kate to spend more time at symbolic locations including the Balmoral residence and St Andrews, their former university town, according to a report on Sunday.
The couple recently toured Scotland, including a meeting with Gordon Brown who has launched a renewed campaign to save the union.
They also sat down for talks with the former prime minister and his wife Sarah at the Queen’s official Edinburgh residence.
William later gave a farewell speech as his week-long tour drew to a close, describing how Scotland has “shaped” him and praising its people and values.
‘Politicians have been losing Scotland for them’
The latest move appears to show unhappiness with the efforts of Conservatives and other pro-union politicians.
According to The Sunday Times, a source close to the royals said: “They think the politicians have been losing Scotland for them.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon reignited the independence debate with another SNP victory in the Holyrood election on May 6. The parliament has a pro-referendum majority with the Scottish Green Party.
Boris Johnson refuses to budge on his position against a UK Government-endorse second vote on the union.
An SNP spokesman said: “Sending members of the Royal family to Scotland to ‘save the Union’ demonstrates exactly why support for independence continues to grow.
“More and more people find themselves supporting independence because of the progressive, forward thinking policies introduced by the SNP – which is in stark contrast to the toxic austerity measures being imposed by Westminster.”
Last month, a spokesperson for Kensington Palace said: “During his time in Scotland Prince William has spoken to a broad range of people from different communities including politicians from across the political spectrum.”
The duke sat down for talks with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and also met Alistair Carmichael, Liberal Democrat MP for Orkney and Shetland.
Soon after the Holyrood election Mr Brown announced his Our Scottish Future think tank which will become a “campaigning movement” seeking to appeal to “middle Scotland”, those who are not entrenched in their positions on the union or independence.
Mr Brown, who played a key role in the No campaign during the 2014 vote, has said those in middle Scotland are “patriots not nationalists” who want to see greater cooperation between the UK’s governments.
Ahead of the Scottish independence referendum in 2014 the Queen reportedly said she hoped voters would “think very carefully about the future”.
Before the Queen’s reported comment Buckingham Palace had issued a statement, following speculation she was growing increasingly concerned about Scotland breaking away, saying any suggestion the monarch would wish to influence the outcome of the referendum was “categorically wrong”.
Speaking in Edinburgh at the closing ceremony of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, William said about some of the memorable individuals he had met: “These people make Scotland the vibrant, friendly, innovative and determined place Catherine and I love, and is so important to us.”
The duke who is the assembly’s Lord High Commissioner added: “I’m shaped by this place. “The abiding affection I feel for it is rooted in my experience of its everyday life in people, relationships, and its ethic of neighbourliness.”