First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has met with the Queen – less than 24 hours after unveiling plans for a second Scottish independence referendum.

The monarch, 96, held an audience with the Scottish First Minister, as well as one with Holyrood’s Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone.

The meetings took place at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, where the Queen is staying for Holyrood week, during which the royal family traditionally carries out a number of engagements in Scotland.

The meetings were in private, with no details of the conversations revealed.

Buckingham Palace confirmed the Queen had received both the Presiding Officer and the First Minister.

The Queen also had an audience with Holyrood Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone (Jane Barlow/PA)

SNP policy is to retain the Queen as head of state if Scotland becomes independent.

Speaking ahead of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations earlier this month, Ms Sturgeon praised the “life and service of an extraordinary woman” as she paid tribute to the Queen.