Rotating plate structures frequently arise in turbo machinery applications. In such cases, the plate is rigidly attached at the rotor hub while the other ends are free. Thus, such structures can be well-represented as a rotating cantilever plate. The high centrifugal forces arising in such cases leads to stiffening and thus changes the modal characteristics of a rotating structure in comparison to its non-rotating counterpart. Experimental Modal Analysis on rotating structures require sophisticated infrastructure. However, the centrifugal effect arising due to rotation can be accommodated in a Finite Element Method solution. The resulting natural frequency characteristics are generally presented in a Campbell diagram format. However, not much published work is available regarding the effect of rotation on the mode shape characteristics. This is important as the mode shape characteristics determine the forced response of the structure. Towards this end, in the present work we use a variational principle based approach in formulating the free and forced vibration characteristics of a rotating cantilever plate. The mode shapes of the non-rotating plate is used as basis functions in a Galerkin method implementation of the problem. In addition to the natural frequency characteristics of the rotating structure, such an approach brings out the manner in which non-rotating structural modes are combined to give the modes under the rotating conditions. The deviation between the rotating and non-rotating mode shapes are quantified using the Modal Assurance Criteria (MAC). MAC between the lower order modal pairs is presented as a function of the rotational speed. Finally, the rotational mode shapes obtained are used to arrive at the forced vibration response of the rotating cantilever plate subjected to a uniform pressure load. The solutions obtained using the above process are verified through a Finite Element Analysis conducted in a commercial software.