Gordon Brown: Everyone in Scotland would welcome the Cambridges’ visits

The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Visit Scotland - Day Six

Before the birth of Lilibet Diana was announced on Sunday, the big royal news was the very suspicious story in the Times of London about the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge possibly being sent to Scotland on a more regular basis. Well-placed sources told the Times that there are palace plans afoot to send William and Kate to live, part-time, at Balmoral and maybe St. Andrews. The news was fascinating for all kinds of reasons. For one, William and Kate seemed almost gleeful at the prospect of jumping head-first into a sensitive political issue like “Scottish independence,” and they seem convinced that they alone are capable of handling a continued “charm offensive” to retain the “union.” They clearly have the backing of former prime minister Gordon Brown as well:

Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge’s “strong connections” with Scotland have been praised by Gordon Brown, who said the “the more Prince William and Catherine visit Scotland, the better it is for Scotland.” The royal couple held a private meeting with the former Prime Minister at Holyroodhouse Palace during their week-long tour of Scotland.

Mr Brown told BBC Breakfast: “The more that Prince William and Catherine visit Scotland, the better it is for Scotland. The more they visit all parts of the UK, which is what they’re doing to great effect, the better it is for the whole of the United Kingdom. I think everyone in Scotland would welcome their visits. They’ve got strong connections of course to Scotland, being at St Andrews University and of course, they’ve visited all parts of Scotland when he was Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly.”

He added that Prince William had discharged his role “with great duty and in such a way that was very popular in Scotland.”

Mr Brown has recently launched his Our Scottish Future thinktank which is aimed at ‘Middle Scotland’ voters, who have not decided whether to oppose or support independence. The former Labour Prime Minister was a vocal campaigner for the No campaign during the Scottish referendum in 2014. He was keen to point out to the BBC that there was nothing improper about his meeting with the Prince, saying “Just to be clear, I’ve known Prince William for many, many years from when I was Prime Minister. It’s not unusual for me to meet him and there’s no special occasion that determined that I should meet him.”

Their private meeting was not publicised, but was later detailed in the royal circular – a document that details all official engagements undertaken by the Royal Family.

[From The Daily Express]

With stories like these, I always wonder just how insular and sycophantic the Tory/establishment/royal relationship really is. Gordon Brown – who is Labour, to be clear – obviously told the Cambridges that they should spend more time in Scotland, that their visits there would dissuade the growing popularity of independence. How much of that was just ass-kissing sycophancy though? And William and Kate believed it, because they wanted to believe it. And the Tory government is happy to let them believe it too, because for now, the royal agenda and the Tory agenda are aligned. Something I’ve realized more and more in recent years is how genuinely short-sighted people are in royal circles. They really see this as a “win” across the board, that William and Kate will be shipped off to Scotland and that they’re clearly being seen as Tory puppets interfering with political issues. They think that looks good and there won’t ever be any long-term repercussions.

Edinburgh International Book Festival 2019

The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Visit Scotland - Day Six

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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83 Responses to “Gordon Brown: Everyone in Scotland would welcome the Cambridges’ visits”

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  1. Becks1 says:

    I really don’t understand this. How will the Cambridges living at Balmoral convince Scotland that it should stay in the UK? Is it the idea that Scottish people will be so excited at seeing royalty they’ll vote to stay?

    I mean people in the US get excited about royalty but it doesnt mean we want to join the UK.

    • Elizabeth Regina says:

      Gordon Brown has just tanked the little that remains of the Cambridges stock. Most of Scotland hated their tour and while the Tories and Scottish Labour party are united in their desire for Scotland to remain part of the union, the people are not having it.

      • Amelia says:

        At least we now know what the “secret” meeting between them was. It was William begging GB to embiggen them in the media 🙄

    • Amy Bee says:

      Yeah, some Scots feel Balmoral should belong to the people not the queen. William and Kate living there is not going to endear them to those who want independence.

      • Becks1 says:

        My guess is that feeling (that Balmoral should belong to the people) will be even more amplified after it’s passed tax-free to Charles.

      • Wiglet Watcher says:

        Maybe they think if someone is living there they can’t seize it?

      • Courtney B says:

        Even though it was privately bought? Is it because of the tax free shenanigans? Like, since it’s private and not crown property it should be subject to regular taxes or transitioned to a crown property and thus forfeit in an independence decision?

      • Becks1 says:

        @CourtneyB – “because” it was privately bought. It’s a private estate so it will pass tax free to Charles, same way Sandringham will. I just think in general when the queen dies and Charles receives an enormous inheritance tax-free (while other people have to pay inheritance tax) there may be some grumblings about it.

        ETA oh never mind I think you were responding to AmyBee about Balmoral belonging to the public not to my comment.

      • LRob says:

        I would understand wanting Holyrood House back, which is a Crown estate I think, but not Balmoral, which is private property owned by the Queen, inherited through the generations after Albert bought it for Victoria.

    • Exactly Becks1. Is Scottish independence issue really based so shallowly on how many photo ops, ribbon cuttings, and choo choo trains the Cambridge’s participate in in Scotland? This strategy makes the Scottish people sound like toddlers who just need to be given a lollipop to come into line. And —- HELLO —- this strategy sounds, smells, and looks like POLITICAL involvement by royal family to me.

    • Merricat says:

      The Scots are not impressed by buttons and phony medals.

  2. Wiglet Watcher says:

    They will never live part time in Scotland. William allegedly has mistresses everywhere else he’ll have to helicopter to. Kate needs to be close to her family to function. And the children with school.

    It would be such a fumble if they had any brains. But they don’t so let’s see.

  3. Nomegusta says:

    He’s always giving his wife the same look I give people when they fart in an aisle at Target and then hastily leave the aisle, then I gotta leave the aisle too so people don’t think it was me…🤔

    • Nivz says:

      I live for the CB comments section! 😂

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ Nomegustam that was my initial thought, but mine was that Brown is talking out of his ass and has no idea what is coming out of his mouth. The Scots don’t benefit from staying latched to the UK and he knows it. They are paying ridiculous taxes to benefit an archaic institution that has clearly little to no benefit to them. If Brown thinks that Baldimort and Keen Doucheness would be willing to live part time in Scotland, he is either delusional or he is trying to sell a program that the Keens won’t be willing to commit to. They are talking about putting one sandbag in place to stop a levee from collapsing.
      In addition, had their speaking not been an issue of importance, then why ask the press not to release the video of their arrival? Don’t tell me it’s raining as you piss on me!

    • Nic919 says:

      Comment of the week!

    • GRUEY says:

      Lol it was so funny just to see his scowling face on the celebitchy home page then click into the article and see that it’s from a pic where he’s looking at his freaking wife!!! Damn dude!!

      • booboocita says:

        Are there any photos, any at all, in which they’re BOTH smiling? Smiling at the same time? In the photos that show Kate and her rictus grin, Will is scowling. In the sole photo in which he has a sort-of smile on his face (the one with the umbrellas), she looks a little tired. He has a combination smile/grimace in the last photo, while she’s smiling normally (for a change). I’m beginning to think that it would be a good thing for one of them to park him/herself in Scotland just so they can be apart. Might actually be a good thing for their marriage.

      • LilacMaven says:

        @booboocita Nope. Not in the last 5 years, at least.

        Hell, Keen has more chemistry with the guy helping her pretend to windsurf than she does with William in those photos.

    • Joan says:


  4. Amy Bee says:

    Gordon Brown may be Labour but in Scotland Labour and the Tories are on the same page when it comes to independence. They’re against it. This piece just confirms that the meeting they had was about Scottish independence.

  5. Snuffles says:

    If they had a Princess to marry off to Scottish royalty, they would have tried that. They have no new tricks and keep going back to the same bag. They live in an echo chamber and are out of sync with the rest of the population.

    • booboocita says:

      Oh, lawdy — don’t give the RR rats any ideas. In sixteen years, if Scottish independence hasn’t already been achieved, we’ll be reading in the tabloids: “Princess Lilibet to wed Scottish Earl! She’ll repair the UK singlehandedly!”

      • Amelia says:

        God, I hope Lili and Archie are kept well well away from this toxic family’s mess.

      • Bellaluna McKenzie says:

        As much as I like Charlotte, I think BPwT would rather throw her to the wolves by using her as a pawn to retain Scotland via some union tricks than reach out to honor Lili in any way.

        Besides, I doubt H&M would stand for such a treatment for their precious girl. Lili is also American by birth. Even if she has dual citizenship, I bet she’ll prioritize her mama’s side over her father’s.

  6. Cecilia says:


  7. Eurydice says:

    They can be gleeful and see this as a “win,” but to me it seems as if they have no agency – they’re just shipped off here and there according to some current policy or concern. I suppose if they can help keep Scotland in the UK, that will be good for them – the monarchy seems to be like one of those giant British country homes that sits on only one acre of land.

  8. MerlinsMom1018 says:

    The way Wills is looking at Kate in that top picture….😆😆😆😆😆😆
    Kaiser…you are indeed a national treasure!!!!
    Ok serious question as it always confuses me
    Here in the U.S. we have Democrats (liberal), Republicans (conservatives) as the major parties.
    Can someone who obviously knows better than I tell me the difference between Tory and Labour?

    • Elizabeth Regina says:

      I would have said poor Kate but hey, she and her mama wanted that crown.

    • Enny says:

      @MerlinsMom Give the guy a break, he’s only trying to count the buttons :)

      • BothSidesNow says:

        And wonder why the hell he married her! His look is of complete disregard and utter disgust!

      • MerlinsMom1018 says:

        A thousand pardons, I forget how deeply dedicated he is to her the king maker, the lynch pin of the monarchy. 😎

      • Nina says:

        Because no one else would have him. So she was a default choice.

    • duchess of hazard says:

      @MerlinsMom – Tories (The Conservatives) are like the American GOP. They are all for privatisation of everything, racist and very English (read: white). Labour is more along the lines of the Democrats in terms of social mobility for all. But alas, they haven’t been in power for the past decade, and the media is very much Tory, so the UK is pretty much hobbled. No matter how bad things get, the Tories are shielded – rather than confronted- by the media.

      Re: Scotland, they don’t have much truck with Labour or Tory (the Scottish National Party – SNP- is the majority party ). Labour and Tories both don’t want Scotland to leave because of fish and oil and Trident.

      The thing is, the Tories (under Boris Johnson) are now trying to tell the 4 home countries (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) not to refer to themselves as separate countries, in order to squash the nascent views on independence coming from Scottish (and increasingly Welsh) corners.

      So for Gordon Brown (Labour – ex Labour Prime Minister) to be throwing in his lot with the Tories re: agreeing to anti Scottish independence is a head wobble, indeed.

      • MerlinsMom1018 says:

        @duchess of hazard
        Many thanks!!!!! I appreciate you breaking it down for me.
        I guess no matter where you’re from politics are politics and is a mess.

    • swirlmamad says:

      As I understand it, basically the Labour party is equivalent to the Democrats and the Tory party equivalent to the Republicans. Not sure of the specifics of each, as I’m sure there are some differing aspects compared to their US counterparts but generally that’s the gist.

      • The Hench says:

        Yeah – I’d say that whilst the Tories are our right wing party and Labour our left, the Tories are not as far right as the GOP and the Democrats are not as far left as Labour. It’s a continuum of GOP/Tories/Democrats/Labour right to left.

      • MerlinsMom1018 says:

        @swirlmamad & The Hench
        Also many thanks! Like I said above politics are politics and are a mess no matter where you’re from

      • Layla says:

        The Tories are the absolute WORST. They are vile and they are racist and full of white privilege. All the aristos basically support them 🙄🙄
        And if this pandemic and their way of handling it has taught us anything, it’s that they don’t care for people’s lives and only care about making money.

      • AlpineWitch says:

        The Hench, non-Tory voting people in England know very well that Tories are on the far right spectrum like the GOP.

        Layla, yes to everything you said.

    • Nina says:

      Ugh. That is so humiliating. Imagine seeing a picture and your husband is looking at you like that and in public too..

  9. Andrew’s Nemesis says:

    So this is why the car crash re: a baby’s name has occurred. PWT has screwed up yet again – very badly, in terms of political neutrality and meddling with Scottish futures – and throws the woman of colour, who is just trying to, you know, enjoy her new daughter, under the carriage wheels. It’s like bloody clockwork. PWT and his vindictive wife will sacrifice others, particularly Harry and Meghan, to cover his arse. I absolutely loathe this ‘man’.

  10. Over it says:

    Why does he hate his wife so much.? This picture says a thousand words and it’s all I am definitely not in love with you.

    • Jaded says:

      His disdain for her seems to have increased exponentially since Meghan came into Harry’s life. This is a complex issue — while he clearly has it in for Meghan and may very well have been the one who asked about Archie’s skin colour, I think he’s still very attracted to her. She’s everything Kate isn’t, i.e. whip smart, accomplished, charismatic, a great public speaker, and she has the “Diana” factor in that she relates to people so well. She ran rings around both Willnot and Kannot and got stuff done. Kate doesn’t like her for the same reasons and both of them are jealous of Meghan and Harry because they’ve continually shown up the Cambridges as lazy, unfocused and petty. Plus they’re clearly madly in love with each other. William looks at Kate and sees a vapid, unaccomplished mannequin for a wife when he’d rather have someone with more of Meghan’s talents so he can bask in her reflected glory….maybe someone like Rose Hanbury?

      • MerlinsMom1018 says:

        Well said Jaded and I think it’s 100% truth

      • Jay says:

        Sure, but… would such a person want to marry William?

        He might like the prestige of having a partner who was impressive, cultured and smart for awhile (at least, until she made him feel stupid). But choosing a partner out of spite and what you think will improve your image has not worked out well in this family’s past. And that’s assuming a person who is whip smart would even want to spend any time with this dullard.

      • Jaded says:

        @Jay – no woman with Meghan’s gifts would want to marry William, however that’s not the point I’m making. He can still be attracted to more dynamic women, still look at Kate and wonder why on earth he settled for her, and be jealous and bitter about Harry’s amazing wife and life. But he’s not capable of having the kind of relationship they do, hence his alleged philandering with a lawyer and Rose Hanbury — women who are far above Kate on the career/philanthropy scale.

    • Nina says:

      Because he realizes he settled and what he settled for disgusts him. He sees his life for the next 50 years if he stays with her and he doesn’t like what he sees but he feels duty-bound to stay. Harry left and now he is miserable on his own. If Harry had settled, they could have been miserable together but at least he had the crown.

      • swirlmamad says:

        “If Harry had settled, they could have been miserable together but at least he had the crown.”

        This is EXACTLY it. Misery loves company. William would have loved nothing more than for Harry to marry a Kate-lite fembot, someone even more forgettable than she is. Then they could’ve “commiserated together”, even though I don’t think Harry has it in him to be a lying, cheating bastard to his wife, and W would’ve still been able to feel like he got the better end of the deal since he’s the heir to the throne. But whether or not he wishes he could be with someone like Meghan, he hates the fact that Harry ultimately got the life that he feels HE deserves to have, even though he’s done nothing to earn it.

  11. Wiglet Watcher says:

    Help me here. My majority education on this issue is from here.

    If Scotland becomes independent they can rejoin the EU, businesses seem to be ready to enter, they pay out less for all things Royal like tartan Disney land visits and they receive Loads in taxes for property like Balmoral.

    What is the other side? What upside does Scotland have to stay?

    • Nic919 says:

      I don’t believe they would get out of supporting the Windsors. Since James I (james IV in Scotland) the crown of England and Scotland are joined by personal union. A referendum would not undo that. The Queen would simply go from being the Queen of the United Kingdom, to the Queen of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
      It’s not very different from how the Queen is head of state and Queen of Canada and Australia which are more distinct political entities than England and Scotland.

      • duchess of hazard says:

        @Nic919 – not necessary. Scotland could also do the South of Ireland and become a Republic.

      • Nic919 says:

        They could get rid of the monarchy, but it would have to be a specific question. Just voting to leave the UK does not mean they get rid of the monarchy along with it. Legally the Queen remains monarch of Scotland regardless of how Scotland and England are linked. The referendum would have to cover that issue specifically as well.

    • The Hench says:

      Also they can’t just rejoin the EU. They would have to meet the EU’s convergence criteria, including joining the single currency and all the pain that entails with the border and the economy and trade yada yada. I totally understand why some Scots want independence but it’s a hell of a lot less simple than the SNP like to portray it. Not to mention that there is serious infighting within the party and independence is one of the few things they agree on. It’s also a shiny, attractive and emotional thing that keeps a lot of people distracted from the SNP’s pretty poor performance in other areas – here’s a quick extract on some of the issues:

      “The SNP has certainly spent heavily – in particular on subsidised childcare, early learning, enhanced child benefits and university tuition – but Scotland’s performance on a wide range of social indicators remains dire.

      How dire?

      Healthy life expectancy (HLE; the number of years lived in “good” or “very good” general health) is the lowest in Europe, at 61.8 years compared with an average of 68.3. Inequality is high: there’s a vast 25-year gap in HLE between the most- and least-deprived areas. Overall life expectancy is two years lower in Scotland than in the UK as a whole. Rates of poverty (including child, in-work and pensioner poverty) have all risen under the SNP. But the SNP’s most glaring failures concern its drugs deaths and (despite its boasts) its abysmal record on education.”

      • AlpineWitch says:

        LOL SNP bad, but please feel free to visit northern England and have a look at what bad really means

    • ElleE says:

      @Wiglet Watcher 1st: you are on fire today!

      The Scottish in independence referendum had to publish it (900+ pages) prior to the 2014 vote and I read the headings. I will say I’m not Scottish I was just interested in it and it outlined where Scotland would get its money from if it was independent, how it would fund its military, enter into its own trade agreement with the EU, etc.
      I guess Scotland would get to keep its oil $ other resources that they have instead of giving it to the United Kingdom, trade in euro, other than that I can’t really remember.

  12. Nic919 says:

    I recall many Scottish posters in the last post about this tour saying that Gordon Brown was not well liked by the average person in Scotland so I have to wonder if he has any clue what regular people feel about that family. I would have thought the Tartan Disneyland article better captured how they felt about the English family coming for a visit.

  13. Emily says:

    I’ve been living in the UK for a decade and this is honestly the most that I’ve ever heard anybody talk about Gordon Brown.

  14. Amelia says:

    Since when did Gordon Brown suddenly speak for all of Scotland. I’m not Scottish, but I would be so mad if someone from another country decided they can speak for me and everyone else 🙄

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      Gordon Brown is Scottish and lives in Edinburgh.

    • duchess of hazard says:

      @Amelia, Gordon Brown is Scottish. When Westminster realised (belatedly) that the internal polling for independence was closer than they thought, Westerminter politicians from both sides went up there. Brown – who wasn’t necessarily a great communicator actually sought (and found) fantastic oratory in terms persuading some Scottish voters to say no. In addition to that, the Queen herself made a comment about Scottish independence at the behest of then PM David Cameron (so much for the BRF being non political).

      But since 2014, and most Scots voting to stay in the Union, and the Tories looking to claw back powers from devolution, and just Tories, it seems strange to see Brown in this fight. Especially post 2016, with them being dragged out of the EU agains their will. Also with the power grab that the Tories are making for everything, and are frogmarching Britain into dictatorship – he still wants Scotland to stay in the Union that doesn’t respect them at all?

      • Amelia says:

        Ah I didn’t know that. Thanks for telling @digital Unicorn and @Duchess of Hazard. I’ll take back what I said. But I still wouldn’t like one person speaking for everyone, especially when you don’t even know what the overall mood is

      • AlpineWitch says:

        Amelia, he is despised in England as well so he has succeeded in uniting the 2 countries against him lol

  15. Merricat says:

    I will laugh forever if the Cambridges are sent to live where they are not wanted. It’s not their type of place, for sure.

    • Nina says:

      This could be Charles’s behind the scene shenanigans. Cut the Middletons down to size and reign in PWT and Keen all in one fell swoop. But I think PWt will dig in his heels and throw an almighty tantrum. Keen will just do what she’s told because she has no backbone.

  16. Courtney B says:

    Maybe Lilibet the Baby and not Lilibet the Queen should move there since she’s been anointed the savior of the monarchy. She can cut her (baby) teeth by saving the ‘United’ part of the United Kingdom.

  17. lucylee says:

    Is this an attempt to get him away from thorny flowers in the countryside, or is this an attempt to make it more difficult for him to tend the garden??

  18. NotSoSimpleTaylor says:

    On that note, I think Elizabeth will be glad to be rid of The Cambridges for awhile. I imagine she is breathing a sigh of relief into her afternoon tea at the thought of her courtiers not dealing with rage and hoping the Scots will humble her grandson.

  19. Kitty says:

    Scotland now wants independence because they have voted and want to remain within Europe end of story…… Scotland is more progressive than either England , Wales and Northern Ire,. As a Irish person l think if the referendum was done when the Queen passes, they are out of Brexit, only ignorance and arrogance believe these two uneducated fools can save Scotland. Seriously !!!!!

    • NotSoSimpleTaylor says:

      They’ll die trying to make this true and there’s a lot of entertainment in that (except when death and dying are actually involved).

  20. Waitwhat? says:

    *If* they were ever to live in Scotland, I can’t see it being at Balmoral. It’s very far north and very remote (3+ hours drive from Edinburgh). The nearest towns are places like Ballater, which are small and tourism-focussed. Balmoral itself is also set on an estate so while it’s a great place for people who want privacy, if the idea is to put them front and centre so we can see them (and therefore somehow be convinced of the value of the Union) then it’s useless.

    It would make more sense if they relocated to Edinburgh; there are some *very* expensive neighbourhoods and, while they wouldn’t get a palace, I’m sure a huge house with all amenities could be found for them. There are posh private schools like Mary Erskine’s or Fettes, plenty of shops (there’s a Harvey Nichols in the city centre!) and exclusive clubs, and I bet they already know posh folk from uni who live there. They know the city too – apparently William used to go out drinking there all the time when he was a student (St Andrews is really small, and there are no nightclubs). It’s also only a 45-minute or so flight from London.

    *And* it would actually help their “relatable”, “we’re just a middle-class family” image to do that. Which is why they wouldn’t do it, of course.

    • Becks1 says:

      Isnt Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh? My guess is if they move to Scotland that’s where they’ll live, and that may be the way to get Kate there – “look you get to live in the palace!”

  21. The Recluse says:

    Bahahahahahahahaha….let them move there and then stand back and watch them do their impersonations of Sideshow Bob and the yard rake, over and over and over.

  22. Catherine says:

    Gordon Brown is loathed in Scotland, and the Cambridges aren’t far behind. They are just proving how out of touch with Scotland they are.

  23. SusanRagain says:

    OK, I just came in to say that reading the headline, was reaction was….
    ” My God, those poor folks in Scotland have been in lockdown so long and they are so bored they are looking forward to W&K visiting.”

    So, the entire country of Scotland has finished all their DIY, cleaned and organized every single closet, and read every last book? lol

  24. Cottage Cat says:

    I have got to the point that I am thinking that somewhere along the line The (Gary Goldsmith) Middletons with their “bought” class, elocution and deportment lessons, got close to William. How on earth does this wife-beating lout in egg/vomit stained vest, drug-running, prostitute-procuring, lout even get the attention of the media?

  25. Marivic says:

    @ Truthiness. Interesting you mentioned about William allegedly philandering with a lawyer. This is new. Wonder who she is?