Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon has first audience with the Queen

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Media captionNicola Sturgeon discussed the stormy weather as she met the Queen

Nicola Sturgeon has had her first audience with the Queen since becoming Scotland's first minister.

Ms Sturgeon was also sworn in as a member of the Privy Council - a group of advisers to the monarch - during her visit to Buckingham Palace.

The palace admitted a "mistake" in introducing Ms Sturgeon as first minister of the Scottish "executive" rather than "government".

But Scottish government sources played down the error.

The Scottish executive was formally renamed as the Scottish government in the 2012 Scotland Act.

Court circular

A palace spokesman said the mistake made by the Queen's equerry as Ms Sturgeon was introduced had been based on incorrect information in the court circular, which lists engagements undertaken by the Royals.

The spokesman said: "It was a mistake on our part and it reflected what was set out in tomorrow's court circular. We are currently trying to correct that."

Image copyright PA

A Scottish government source said it was "not an issue."

The first minister had earlier said she was "very much looking forward" to the audience.

And Ms Sturgeon dismissed reports that Her Majesty favoured the 'No' campaign during the independence referendum.

The first minister said she had "no reason to believe" the Queen opposed Scottish independence.

Her comments followed recent remarks by the Prime Minister David Cameron in which he said the Queen "purred down the line" when told the 'No' campaign had won.

'Very positive'

Ms Sturgeon described relations with the Palace as "very good, very strong, very positive".

She said she would not presume to try and convince Her Majesty of the case for independence.

Asked about comments made by the Queen outside Crathie Church which were interpreted as signalling her support for the 'No' side, Ms Sturgeon said: "I have no issue with anything the Queen did or didn't say during the referendum.

"The Queen and the Palace made clear she was not taking a position during the referendum campaign."

Ms Sturgeon also re-stated her support for retaining the monarchy in an independent Scotland.

She described the monarchy as "a model that has many merits".

The first minister said the Queen was very popular in Scotland and the institution of the monarchy had considerable support.

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