Despite being barely a week old, Prince George of Cambridge is already in the centre of an ancient political debate following an outburst from the chairman of the pro-independence referendum campaign in Scotland.

royal baby

Will George be King of Scotland?

Labour MP Dennis Canavan, who chairs the ‘Yes Scotland’ campaign has said that the prospect of the infant one-day being head of state of a separate Scotland would be “an affront to democracy and a complete anachronism”.

A critic of hereditary monarch, Canavan's views sits in contrast with SNP leader Alec Salmond who has publically stated that separation would not lead to the abolition of the Queen’s role as head of state, despite pressure from ‘Yes Scotland’ campaigners who have called for a second referendum to decide the future role of the British monarch in an independent Scotland.

Speaking to The Scotsman, Canavan said: “As to the possibility of another King George, it is important to remember that true democracy is based on the sovereignty of the people rather than the sovereignty of any monarch,” adding: “In an independent Scotland, the people of Scotland should therefore be given an early opportunity to decide whether they want to retain the monarchy or choose an elected head of state.

Following the Labour MP's comments, an SNP spokesman said: "The policy of the SNP and Scottish Government is clear that the Queen will be head of state in an independent Scotland, as part of a continuing social union with the rest of the UK - that will be the position if Scotland votes Yes, and indeed all of the main parties in Scotland support the Queen as our head of state.

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"Dennis Canavan is perfectly entitled to believe in an elected head of state, and will be free to argue that case in an independent Scotland - just as Labour MPs who support an elected head of state in the UK argue for that position at present."

The deputy leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Jackson Carlaw, was equally dismissive. He said: "I believe the overwhelming majority of Scots support the monarchy just as people do across the UK and just as there, this support has grown stronger in recent years. Making the future of the monarchy a central theme of the independence referendum seems to me to be foolhardy."

A spokesman for Yes Scotland said their campaign was "a broad church with many different views including those that are for a monarchy and those that are not".

dennis canavan

Dennis Canavan: 'An affront to democracy'

The monarchies of England and Scotland were officially merged in 1603 with the accession of James I (James VI in Scotland), and despite a groundswell of anti-royal sentiment forming around the push for independence, polls show that the majority of Scots would like to retain the House of Windsor as head of state.

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  • The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Leave The Lindo Wing With Their Newborn Son

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge depart The Lindo Wing with their newborn son at St Mary's Hospital on July 23, 2013 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday gave birth to a boy at 16.24 BST and weighing 8lb 6oz, with Prince William at her side. The baby, as yet unnamed, is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

  • The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Leave The Lindo Wing With Their Newborn Son

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge depart The Lindo Wing with their newborn son at St Mary's Hospital on July 23, 2013 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday gave birth to a boy at 16.24 BST and weighing 8lb 6oz, with Prince William at her side. The baby, as yet unnamed, is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

  • The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Leave The Lindo Wing With Their Newborn Son

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, depart The Lindo Wing with their newborn son at St Mary's Hospital on July 23, 2013 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday gave birth to a boy at 16.24 BST and weighing 8lb 6oz, with Prince William at her side. The baby, as yet unnamed, is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

  • The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Leave The Lindo Wing With Their Newborn Son

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge depart The Lindo Wing with their newborn son at St Mary's Hospital on July 23, 2013 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday gave birth to a boy at 16.24 BST and weighing 8lb 6oz, with Prince William at her side. The baby, as yet unnamed, is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

  • The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Leave The Lindo Wing With Their Newborn Son

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge hold their newborn son outside The Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital on July 23, 2013 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday gave birth to a boy at 16.24 BST and weighing 8lb 6oz, with Prince William at her side. The baby, as yet unnamed, is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge.  (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

  • The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Leave The Lindo Wing With Their Newborn Son

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, depart The Lindo Wing with their newborn son at St Mary's Hospital on July 23, 2013 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday gave birth to a boy at 16.24 BST and weighing 8lb 6oz, with Prince William at her side. The baby, as yet unnamed, is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

  • The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Leave The Lindo Wing With Their Newborn Son

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Crowds of well wishers take photographs as Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, depart The Lindo Wing with their newborn son at St Mary's Hospital on July 23, 2013 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday gave birth to a boy at 16.24 BST and weighing 8lb 6oz, with Prince William at her side. The baby, as yet unnamed, is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge.  (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

  • The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Leave The Lindo Wing With Their Newborn Son

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Crowds of well wishers take photographs as Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, depart The Lindo Wing with their newborn son at St Mary's Hospital on July 23, 2013 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday gave birth to a boy at 16.24 BST and weighing 8lb 6oz, with Prince William at her side. The baby, as yet unnamed, is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge.  (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

  • The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Leave The Lindo Wing With Their Newborn Son

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, depart The Lindo Wing with their newborn son at St Mary's Hospital on July 23, 2013 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday gave birth to a boy at 16.24 BST and weighing 8lb 6oz, with Prince William at her side. The baby, as yet unnamed, is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

  • The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Leave The Lindo Wing With Their Newborn Son

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Crowds of well wishers take photographs as Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, depart The Lindo Wing with their newborn son at St Mary's Hospital on July 23, 2013 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday gave birth to a boy at 16.24 BST and weighing 8lb 6oz, with Prince William at her side. The baby, as yet unnamed, is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge.  (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

  • The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Leave The Lindo Wing With Their Newborn Son

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, depart The Lindo Wing with their newborn son at St Mary's Hospital on July 23, 2013 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday gave birth to a boy at 16.24 BST and weighing 8lb 6oz, with Prince William at her side. The baby, as yet unnamed, is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

  • The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Leave The Lindo Wing With Their Newborn Son

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge leave the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital with their newborn son on July 23, 2013 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday gave birth to a boy at 16.24 BST and weighing 8lb 6oz, with Prince William at her side. The baby, as yet unnamed, is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

  • The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Leave The Lindo Wing With Their Newborn Son

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge leave the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital with their newborn son on July 23, 2013 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday gave birth to a boy at 16.24 BST and weighing 8lb 6oz, with Prince William at her side. The baby, as yet unnamed, is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

  • The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Leave The Lindo Wing With Their Newborn Son

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge leave the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital with their newborn son on July 23, 2013 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday gave birth to a boy at 16.24 BST and weighing 8lb 6oz, with Prince William at her side. The baby, as yet unnamed, is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

  • The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Leave The Lindo Wing With Their Newborn Son

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, depart The Lindo Wing with their newborn son at St Mary's Hospital on July 23, 2013 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday gave birth to a boy at 16.24 BST and weighing 8lb 6oz, with Prince William at her side. The baby, as yet unnamed, is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

  • The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Leave The Lindo Wing With Their Newborn Son

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge leave the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital with their newborn son on July 23, 2013 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday gave birth to a boy at 16.24 BST and weighing 8lb 6oz, with Prince William at her side. The baby, as yet unnamed, is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

  • The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Leave The Lindo Wing With Their Newborn Son

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, depart The Lindo Wing with their newborn son at St Mary's Hospital on July 23, 2013 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday gave birth to a boy at 16.24 BST and weighing 8lb 6oz, with Prince William at her side. The baby, as yet unnamed, is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

  • The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Leave The Lindo Wing With Their Newborn Son

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, depart The Lindo Wing with their newborn son at St Mary's Hospital on July 23, 2013 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday gave birth to a boy at 16.24 BST and weighing 8lb 6oz, with Prince William at her side. The baby, as yet unnamed, is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

  • The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Leave The Lindo Wing With Their Newborn Son

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, depart The Lindo Wing with their newborn son at St Mary's Hospital on July 23, 2013 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday gave birth to a boy at 16.24 BST and weighing 8lb 6oz, with Prince William at her side. The baby, as yet unnamed, is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

  • The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Leave The Lindo Wing With Their Newborn Son

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge depart The Lindo Wing with their newborn son at St Mary's Hospital on July 23, 2013 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday gave birth to a boy at 16.24 BST and weighing 8lb 6oz, with Prince William at her side. The baby, as yet unnamed, is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

  • The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Leave The Lindo Wing With Their Newborn Son

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge depart The Lindo Wing with their newborn son at St Mary's Hospital on July 23, 2013 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday gave birth to a boy at 16.24 BST and weighing 8lb 6oz, with Prince William at her side. The baby, as yet unnamed, is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

  • The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Leave The Lindo Wing With Their Newborn Son

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, depart The Lindo Wing with their newborn son at St Mary's Hospital on July 23, 2013 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday gave birth to a boy at 16.24 BST and weighing 8lb 6oz, with Prince William at her side. The baby, as yet unnamed, is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

  • The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Leave The Lindo Wing With Their Newborn Son

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, depart The Lindo Wing with their newborn son at St Mary's Hospital on July 23, 2013 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday gave birth to a boy at 16.24 BST and weighing 8lb 6oz, with Prince William at her side. The baby, as yet unnamed, is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

  • The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Leave The Lindo Wing With Their Newborn Son

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 24: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, depart The Lindo Wing with their newborn son at St Mary's Hospital on July 23, 2013 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday gave birth to a boy at 16.24 BST and weighing 8lb 6oz, with Prince William at her side. The baby, as yet unnamed, is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge.  (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

  • The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Leave The Lindo Wing With Their Newborn Son

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 24: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, depart The Lindo Wing with their newborn son at St Mary's Hospital on July 23, 2013 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday gave birth to a boy at 16.24 BST and weighing 8lb 6oz, with Prince William at her side. The baby, as yet unnamed, is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge.  (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

  • The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Leave The Lindo Wing With Their Newborn Son

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, depart The Lindo Wing with their newborn son at St Mary's Hospital on July 23, 2013 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday gave birth to a boy at 16.24 BST and weighing 8lb 6oz, with Prince William at her side. The baby, as yet unnamed, is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

  • Royal baby born

    The safe hands of the Duchess of Cambridge with her son who was born yesterday, leave the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in west London.

  • Royal Baby

    Prince William and Kate Middleton, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital with their new born baby boy, Paddington, London.

  • Royal baby born

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in London, with their newborn son. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 23, 2013. See PA story ROYAL Baby. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

  • Royal baby born

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in London, with their newborn son.

  • Royal baby born

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in London, with their newborn son.

  • Royal baby born

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in London, with their newborn son.

  • Royal baby born

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in London, with their newborn son.

  • Royal baby born

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in London, with their newborn son.

  • Britain's Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge hold the Prince of Cambridge, Tuesday July 23, 2013, as they pose for photographers outside St. Mary's Hospital exclusive Lindo Wing in London where the Duchess gave birth on Monday July 22. The Royal couple are expected to head to London’s Kensington Palace from the hospital with their newly born son, the third in line to the British throne. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

  • Kate, Duchess of Cambridge holds the Prince of Cambridge, Tuesday July 23, 2013, as they pose for photographers outside St. Mary's Hospital exclusive Lindo Wing in London where the Duchess gave birth on Monday July 22. The Royal couple are expected to head to London’s Kensington Palace from the hospital with their newly born son, the third in line to the British throne. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

  • Britain's Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge hold the Prince of Cambridge, Tuesday July 23, 2013, as they pose for photographers outside St. Mary's Hospital exclusive Lindo Wing in London where the Duchess gave birth on Monday July 22. The Royal couple are expected to head to London’s Kensington Palace from the hospital with their newly born son, the third in line to the British throne. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

  • Britain's Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge hold the Prince of Cambridge, Tuesday July 23, 2013, as they pose for photographers outside St. Mary's Hospital exclusive Lindo Wing in London where the Duchess gave birth on Monday July 22. The Royal couple are expected to head to London’s Kensington Palace from the hospital with their newly born son, the third in line to the British throne. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

  • Royal Baby

    The Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and their newborn son pictured outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital, London.

  • Royal baby born

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in London, with their newborn son.

  • Royal baby born

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in London, with their newborn son.

  • Royal baby born

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in London, with their newborn son.

  • Royal Baby

    The Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and their newborn son pictured outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital, London.

  • Royal Baby

    The Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and their newborn son pictured outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital, London.

  • Royal baby born

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in London, with their newborn son.

  • Royal baby born

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in London, with their newborn son.

  • Britain's Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge hold the Prince of Cambridge, Tuesday July 23, 2013, as they pose for photographers outside St. Mary's Hospital exclusive Lindo Wing in London where the Duchess gave birth on Monday July 22. The Royal couple are expected to head to London’s Kensington Palace from the hospital with their newly born son, the third in line to the British throne.

  • Royal baby born

    The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall leave the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in London, after he met his new grandson.

  • Royal baby born

    The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall leave the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in London, after he met his new grandson.

  • Royal baby born

    The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall leave the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in London, after he met his new grandson.

  • Royal baby born

    The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall arrive at the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in London, to meet his new grandson.