Photo By Peter Watts
Edinburgh Castle - Royal Palace

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Edinburgh Castle - Royal Palace - PHOTOGRAPHER COMMENT

Panorama inside the Royal Palace at Edinburgh Castle. This picture shows the room next to the Birthing Room in which Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to King James VI.

Edinburgh Castle - Royal Palace - FURTHER INFORMATION

Edinburgh Castle - Royal Palace - Edinburgh visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Edinburgh Castle - Royal Palace' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Lothian.

The Royal Palace occupies the eastern side of Crown Square in Edinburgh Castle. The palace was built in the 15th century as Royal Apartments and used by the Stewart kings. The palace was not considered to be very comfortable and the royal families preferred to stay in Holyrood Abbey at the other end of the Royal Mile.

Scottish Honours (Crown Jewels): Today part of the palace contains the Honours of Scotland (Scottish Crown Jewels). The Scottish Honours are made of the Crown of Scotland, Scepter of Scotland and Sword of State of Scotland. After the Act of Union in 1707 they were placed in wooden chest in the palace and lay forgotten there for 100 years until being re-discovered by Sir Walter Scott in 1818. Since 1819 they have remained on display in the Crown Room, except for a shore period when, in 1941, they were removed and hidden in the remains of David's Tower, below the to prevent them falling into German hands in case of invasion during WWII. They were presented to Queen Elizabeth in 1953 and then returned to the Crown Room. Much of the passageways to the Crown Room, where the Honours are displayed, is taken up by an exhibition that describes their history. The Stone of Destiny is also on display here.

Birthing Room: The Birthing Room, also called 'Mary Room', was the tiny chamber in which Prince James was born to Mary Queen of Scots after a difficult birth in 1566. This panorama shows the room adjacent to it. At the age of one James became King James VI of Scotland in 1567, and then at the age of 37 he became King James I of England in 1603. In 1617 he returned to Edinburgh to celebrate his 50th anniversary as King of Scots, and made an emotional visit to the Birthing Room, which was especially redecorated for the visit and Mons Meg was fired in his honour. The Birthing Room is open to the public.

The Laich Hall: The Laich Hall is next the the Birthing Room. Laich means 'low' and it was used as a dining room situated below the lodgings of King James I in floor above. At some point after 1617 the rooms of the palace were gradually taken over by the castle garrison and used for other purposes. The decorations and interior furnishings were removed. Since 1977 Historic Scotland, which manages the castle, undertook a detailed study of the former state of the rooms and began refurbishing them. Today the Laich Hall is used for government functions.


Edinburgh Castle


Bus: 24 to Lawnmarket.
Walk: Edinburgh Castle is at the western end of the Royal Mile, which leads down east to the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Scottish Parliament. This is about 15 minutes walk from Waverley Station and the Tourist Information Centre.

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