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Queen 'hopes Scots think carefully'

The Queen has said she hopes voters in t he Scottish independence referendum will "think very carefully about the future", it was reported today.

She made the comment after attending a Sunday morning church service at Crathie Kirk near her Balmoral estate.

The Queen told a well-wisher in the crowd: "Well, I hope people will think very carefully about the future."

After previous reports claimed the Queen was growing increasingly concerned about Scotland breaking away, Buckingham Palace issued a statement earlier this week which read: ''The sovereign's constitutional impartiality is an established principle of our democracy and one which the Queen has demonstrated throughout her reign.

''As such the monarch is above politics and those in political office have a duty to ensure this remains the case.

''Any suggestion that the Queen would wish to influence the outcome of the current referendum campaign is categorically wrong. Her Majesty is simply of the view this is a matter for the people of Scotland.''

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