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Queen hopes Scots 'think very carefully' about vote

The Queen pictured speaking to crowds at Crathie Church, Aberdeenshire today. Credit: Donald Stewart

The Queen has urged Scottish voters to "think very carefully" before casting their ballots in Thursday's referendum.

She was heard making the off-camera remarks to members of the public during a visit to Crathie Church in Aberdeenshire.

The Telegraph newspaper said it understood the monarch had told the small crowd:

You have an important vote on Thursday.

I hope everybody thinks very carefully about the referendum this week.

– The Queen

It is thought to be her first public comment on the issue of Scottish independence.

Salmond: Queen 'will be proud' to be monarch of an independent Scotland

Alex Salmond has applauded the Queen's neutrality in the independence debate Credit: Michael Schofield/The Sun/PA Wire

The Queen "will be proud" to be the monarch of an independent Scotland, according to Alex Salmond.

Scotland's First Minister also said he had an audience at Balmoral "but the proper position is you don't discuss these matters in public".

"I want the Queen as head of state, as Queen of Scots of an independent Scotland as her ancestors were.

I think Her Majesty the Queen, who has seen so many events in the course of her long reign, will be proud to be Queen of Scots, and indeed we would be proud to have her as monarch of this land...

And I think the statement from the Palace about the Queen's neutrality in this matter is a perfectly satisfactory and perfectly sensible one."

– FIRST MINISTER ALEX SALMOND

Sources had claimed yesterday that the Queen was uncertain about a 'Yes' outcome as there was no guarantee in place that she would be the Queen of Scotland. However, Palace aides have stressed that the Queen is neutral on the issue as with all political debates.

Read: Queen's 'fears over being the last Queen of Scotland'.

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Carriage driver involved in showground accident

The incident happened at Lowther showground in Cumbria on Friday Credit: Great North Air Ambulance

A famous carriage driver has been airlifted to hospital after an incident at the Lowther show-ground in Cumbria.

George Bowman senior, 78, from Penrith, suffered head and chest injures during a carriage driving accident yesterday and was airlifted to Carlisle's Cumberland Infirmary. His condition was said to be stable last night.

A 23-year-old woman was also treated by paramedics at the scene.

Theatre by the Lake awarded two MBE's

Graham Lamont and Vicky Robinson, Joint Chair of Theatre by the Lake Credit: Theatre by the Lake

Keswick's Theatre by the Lake is celebrating after receiving another award from the Queen.

This is the second award for the company this year after Executive Director Patric Gilchrist was awarded an MBE in the New Year honours list in January.

Vicky Robinson, joint chair of Theatre by the Lake, is one of a group of people in the region to have been awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

She has been recognised for her contribution to the arts in Cumbria. Her involvement in with Theatre by the Lake and the Lakeland Book of the Year Awards have been honoured.

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Revamped park is fit for royalty

The Earl of Wessex has officially opened the newly refurbished Dock Park in Dumfries. His Highness was joined by the Countess of Wessex who met local schoolchildren and even tried a bit of mini-golf.

The park has had a £2 million overhaul and is already proving to be a big hit with locals and tourists.

Lori Carnochan reports:

'It's the start of the regeneration of the town'

The Earl of Wessex has officially opened the newly refurbished Dock Park in Dumfries.

The park has undergone a £2 million upgrade, which includes new toilet facilities, mini golf and an improved children's play area. The park's iconic bandstand has also been restored.

The upgrade was jointly funded by the Big Lottery Fund and Dumfries and Galloway Council.

Cllr Colin Smith says it's just the start of things to come.

A royal play in the park

The Earl and Countess of Wessex were in Dumfries today to mark the official opening of Dock Park after its £2 million refurbishment.

Children from local schools for waited their arrival.

The Countess of Wessex greeting school children Credit: ITV Border
The royal party walking through bowling greens after greeting schoolchildren Credit: ITV Border

Councillor Colin Smyth from Dumfries and Galloway Council said:

"It's fantastic to have a royal visit today to officially open the Dock Park. It's a beautiful day and it really showcases what a great facility we have here. I've been working hard to push for the upgrade and I'm delighted that the £2 million has been put to such good use."

The Earl of Wessex tries his hand at mini golf Credit: ITV Border
The Countess of Wessex playing mini golf, watched on by her husband Credit: ITV Border

After trying out the new facilities, the Earl and Countess of Wessex officially opened the park by unveiling a plaque.

Children wait with their flags as the Earl makes his way round to the plaque Credit: ITV Border
The unveiling of the plaque marks the official opening Credit: ITV Border
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