The National:

IT takes a lot for a Unionist to come out with something so daft that fellow Unionists dare to speak out against it.

Incredibly a columnist and historical biographer AN Wilson managed to achieve this with an absolutely ludicrous column on Union-saving royals William and Kate in an article for The Times.

The author of several books on the royal family backed the Earl and Countess of Strathearn as “Unionist exemplars” and even proclaimed they could “undo the damage to the Union which Margaret Thatcher began” with the poll tax.

READ MORE: William and Kate could be asked to come to Scotland more in bid to save Union

Wilson insists that reports of William and Kate being deployed to save the Union “will have worried any intelligent Scottish nationalists”. The couple recently met with Gordon Brown, who is in permanent Union-y campaign mode, at secretive talks in Scotland.

While Boris Johnson and other Unionist politicians are disliked in Scotland and are failing to save the Union, Wilson writes, “the royal family might, just might, stand a chance of doing so”.

The writer recalls some historical anecdotes to make the point, mentioning that Walter Scott persuaded George IV to visit Edinburgh in 1822 after years of the royals steering “well clear of ‘North Britain’”.

“Like all the best royal events, there was an ingredient of pantomime in the visit. The obese monarch chose to wear full Highland rig (which was still forbidden by law after the Jacobite uprisings — the kilt was almost the equivalent of the black beret and balaclava rig of Irish republicans),” he explained.

“His belly was so huge and loose that it showed, dangling over the kilt. But there was royal magic in the air and, however absurd the people of Edinburgh found him, they recognised him as their king and there was huge merriment in the Scottish capital.”

This example, plus the royals owning Balmoral estate and the Queen Mother living in Glamis Castle (making her "in effect Scottish), proves using the couple to promote the Union could be successful, Wilson claims.

He praises Kate and William, who “will wear normal clothes and treat Scotland as a normal place to live”. How very brave.

“William and his amiable, smiling wife are probably the only people who can seriously undo the damage to the Union which Margaret Thatcher began when she tried to impose the poll tax north of the border. Good luck to them!” Wilson concludes.

READ MORE: Kevin McKenna: Here is Gordon Brown and royals' real plan to save the Union

Wilson may want to take a look at polling – surveys consistently show Scotland as the least monarchist nation of the UK. Recent polling from Sky News shows Scots are split on whether an independent Scotland should maintain the royal family, or a republic should be created.

Meanwhile a whopping 22% don’t know – that’s a sizeable chunk of folks who don’t really have an opinion on the royals and might not take too kindly to them trying to influence our country’s future.

The article didn’t only anger independence supporters and those who hope for a Scottish republic – people Wilson was probably hoping to please with the piece were scathing.

“If – and I stress if – this is supposed to be serious it’s the dumbest thing I’ve read about the Union (and the dumbest thing I’ve read in The Times) in a very long time,” wrote former Tory MSP Adam Tomkins. Ouch.

The post was retweeted by former Better Together chief Blair McDougall.

Reform Scotland’s Chris Deerin shared the article and added: “This just in from the 19th century.”

“It's nuts on so many levels. If Scotland rejects Nicola Sturgeon they can have William instead? How does that work? We go back to an actual feudal overlord system?” added another.

It seems the debate on the royals’ contribution to the independence debate will go on for some time, and draw all kinds of opinions out of the woodwork …