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Monday, 23 November 2009

A Royal Love Affair

Queen Victoria first visited Scotland in 1842, in search of peace and quiet after surviving two attempts on her life that year. Victoria found her spiritual home in the tranquil, spectacular Highland scenery; it was the start of a love affair which lasted a lifetime.
The queen loved watching the local Highland games. In 1851, a writer for the Illustrated London News, reporting on the Braemar Gathering, commented on how times had changed: ‘From the time the Earl of Mar raised the standard of rebellion in 1715, almost within gunshot of where Victoria now has her Highland home, down to the fatal battle of Culloden, the Highland clans were mustered in strong force when the signal was passed through the glens…now…the signal to rally is the olive branch, and the clansmen muster to show off their Highland dress, and disport themselves in harmless Highland games’ (20 September 1851). You can find out more about Queen Victoria’s love for all things Scottish in my latest feature for Discover My Past Scotland.

Image: Highland ball in Braemar Castle – the clans’ reel. Illustrated London News, 20 September 1851.

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