Scotland's Royal Palace
14.08.2015 - 14.08.2015
Just seen my big blooper from yesterday. Heading should have been Edinburgh Castle. We have been to Stirling Castle on a previous visit. We awoke and looked out the window to see lots of rain falling. After breakfast it was on with the coats and off to catch the bus into central city. The day before we had purchased tickets to cover the hop on hop off buses. Hopped back on these to get to the Palace. The Palace of Holyroodhouse stands in a spectacular setting at the foot of the Royal Mile. It has walled gardens and is surrounded by parkland. It has been a royal residence for over 500 years. Today the Palace is the official residence of Her Majesty The Queen of Scotland. The Queen had recently been in residence on her way to Balmoral. She spends a week here at this time every year to carry out official engagements. You can't visit here when the Queen is in residence. The State Apartments are also used frequently used by members of the Royal Family for events in support of charitable organisatios of which they are patrons. Apparently Princess Anne stays here a lot. We had a guided tour through this Palace. No photos to be taken inside. Sometimes these places can seem a bit gloomy due to very low light , deliberately used to protect tapestries and furniture etc dating way back in time. This place has a vast history. Of course a big mention goes to Queen Mary, Queen of Scots. Mary succeeded the throne on her father's death in 1542 when just a few days old. Mary grew up in France in the French courts after an attempt by Henry VIII to force the Scots to accept a marriage proposal between his son Prince Edward and the infant Mary. The young Queen of Scotland, a Catholic returned in 1561 to a largely protestant country. She lived in Holyroodhouse where many of the dramatic events of her short reign took place. After the opulence of the french palace she would have found Holyroodhouse to be quite plain. She married her second husband Lord Darnley in the chapel in 1565. Her Italian secretary David Rizzio was murdered by Darley in her private apartments. We were shown where this dreadful event took place. When you first get to the Palace you are greeted with the classic style Quadrangle, then you walk up the Great Stairs into the State Apartments. The very large dining table is set out like it is ready for an official visit. You get to visit the throne room which was plainly finished. Then the drawing room with its large tapestries. The King's bedchamber was very elaborate with lavish furnishings. The great gallery served many purposes over the years The Queen still regularly uses this room to carry out investitures for Scottish recipients of honours and for State banques, dinners and receptions. After the tour we visited Holyroodhouse Abbey. This building has been left as a ruin. The ruins make good photos. We then wandered around the gardens. It was showery. There was a rather nice cafe here with very good food we had lunch here. Afterwards we visited the Exhibition of royal paintings which we enjoyed.