Thursday, 8 December 2016

Palaces in the Snow: Linlithgow

Linlithgow Palace, Scotland has a part in some of the most dramatic tales of royal history
(photo 4652 Paces via Flickr)

It's a palace steeped in history and linked to one of the most romantic and tragic queens of history as well as another whose name became forever linked to the cold of winter which brings the snow. Linlithgow Palace in West Lothian, Scotland is now a tourist attraction but for centuries the tumultuous royal history of Scotland played out within its walls. Linlithgow Palace has no need of help when it comes to drama and dusted in snow, it is a palace of dreams once more.

Linlithgow has been the site of a royal manor since the 12th century but the palace which would become so associated with the country's history was built under the orders of King James I of Scotland after a fire in the town in 1424. His successors continued to expand the palace until, by the 16th century, it was a dominant and dramatic royal residence.

On December 8th 1542, Marie de Guise, consort of King James V, gave birth to a daughter at Linlithgow Palace. Six days later, the baby became queen when her father died. Mary, Queen of Scots sometimes returned to the palace of her birth during her tumultuous life but its place in her story was cemented in those cold, possibly snowy days of December 1542.

Half a century later, Mary's granddaughter would come to live at Linlithgow. Elizabeth, daughter of Mary's only son, James, was brought to the palace as a young princess in the years following her birth in 1596. She moved to England when her father became king there, too. Her story took on its own romantic and tragic twist when she became Queen of Bohemia in 1619 but her husband, Frederick, lost his crown the following year and as they fled into exile, Elizabeth became known as the Winter Queen.  

(photo Tom Parnell via Flickr)

Linlithgow welcomed Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745 when its fountains were said to have run with wine but the following year, the Duke of Cumberland laid waste to the palace as he defeated the Jacobite Rising. Linlithgow Palace was restored from the beginning of the 19th century and its walls now welcome visitors under the care of Historic Scotland.

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