The Palace of Holyroodhouse is the official residence of the Monarchy in Scotland.
Founded as a monastery in 1128 at the end of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, the Palace of Holyroodhouse has a close association with the History of Scotland. Today, the Palace is a close focus for national celebrations and events in Scotland, most notably The Queen's ‘Holyrood Week’, which usually runs from the end of June to the beginning of July every year.
The Palace of Holyroodhouse today
Today the Palace of Holyroodhouse is used as a Royal Palace, but is also open to the public all year round. It also is a centrepoint for celebrating the best of Scotland.
This is most evident in The Queen’s ‘Holyrood Week’ of engagements, undertaken every year from the end of June to the beginning of July. Her Majesty attends several engagements to celebrate Scottish culture, history and achievement.
The Investiture held in the Great Gallery is for Scottish residents whose achievements have been recognised in the twice-yearly Honours List which appears at New Year and on The Queen's Official Birthday in June.
King George V and Queen Mary held the first garden party in the grounds of Holyroodhouse and the tradition has been maintained to the present day. Each year, members of The Royal Family entertain around 8,000 guests from all walks of Scottish life during Holyrood week.
History of the Palace of Holyroodhouse
David I founded the Palace of Holyroodhouse as an Augustinian monastery in 1128. The Abbey prospered. With Edinburgh now recognised as Scotland's capital, her kings chose to live in Holyroodhouse, surrounded by parkland, rather than in the bleak Castle, high on a rock overlooking the town and exposed to the elements.
The Abbey prospered. With Edinburgh now recognised as Scotland's capital, her kings chose to live in Holyroodhouse, surrounded by parkland, rather than in the bleak Castle, high on a rock overlooking the town and exposed to the elements.
In 1501 James IV cleared the ground close to the Abbey and built a Palace for himself and his bride, Margaret Tudor – the sister of Henry VIII. Only a fragment of the gatehouse survives today. His successor James V added a massive Tower between 1528 and 1532, and a new west front south of the Tower between 1535 and 1536.
The Royal Palace of Holyrood House
Mary, Queen of Scots spent most of her turbulent life in the Palace - a dramatic and often tragic chapter in the history of the building. She married two of her husbands in the palace. Her private secretary David Rizzio was murdered in her private apartments by a group led by her husband Lord Darnley, who was jealous of Rizzio's influence over Mary.
Further renovation was carried out in 1633 to mark the Scottish coronation of James's son Charles I. During the Civil War Oliver Cromwell's troops were billeted at the Palace.