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Holyrood Palace

From Academic Kids

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Holyrood Palace

The Palace of Holyroodhouse, more commonly known as Holyrood Palace, was originally founded as a monastery by David I of Scotland in 1128, has served as the principal residence of the Kings and Queens of Scotland since the 15th century. The Palace stands in Edinburgh at the bottom of the Royal Mile.

Holyrood is an anglicisation of the Scots Haly Ruid (Holy Cross).

Palace

In the 15th century a guesthouse stood on the site of the present north range of the palace, west of Holyrood Abbey and its cloister. Many of Scotland's medieval Kings stayed here before the palaces construction, and by the late 15th century Holyrood was a royal residence in all but name; James II was born there in 1430, crowned there, married there, and buried there. Between 1498 and 1501, James IV constructed a new building, with Holyrood becoming a palace in the true sense of the word.

The palace was built around a quadrangle, situated west of the abbey cloister. It contained a chapel, gallery, royal apartments, and a great hall. The chapel occupied the present north range of the Great Quadrangle, with the Queens apartments occupying part of the south range. A third range to the west contained the Kings lodgings and the entrance to the palace. He also oversaw construction of a two storey gate house, fragments of which survive in the Abbey Courthouse. James V added to the palace between 1528 and 1536, beginning with the present north-west tower. In this tower are the famous suite of rooms once occupied by Mary, Queen of Scots.

The wooden ceilings of the main rooms are from Marys time although the monograms IR (Jacobus Rex) and MR (Maria Regina) are believed to refer to James VI and his mother. Shields commemorating Marys marriage to Francis II of France are believed to have been carved in 1559 but put in their present position in 1617. The suite contains an audience chamber and the Queen's bedroom, leading from which are two turret rooms. It was in the northern turret room, on March 9 1565, that the infamous murder of David Rizzio took place in Mary's presence.

After James VI became King of England in 1603 and moved to London, the palace was no longer the seat of a permanent royal court. James visited it again in 1617 as did Charles I in 1633, when he was crowned as King of Scotland in Holyrood Abbey.

In 1650, either by accident or design, the palace was fired during the visit of Oliver Cromwell and his soldiers. Cromwell had the palace rebuilt, but his rebuilding was pulled down and Charles II had the palace re-constructed in its present form between 1671 and 1679 by William Bruce. James VII and II lived at Holyrood between 1679 and 1682 in the aftermath of the Exclusion crisis.

After 1707, the Palace was used during the elections of Scottish representative peers. Bonnie Prince Charlie held court at Holyrood for five weeks during the 1745 Jacobite Rising, and following the French Revolution, George III allowed the exiled French royal family to live at Holyrood, namely Louis XVI's youngest brother, the Comte d'Artois. After their second exile, the French royals lived at Holyrood again from 1830 until 1832 when they moved to Austria.

In modern times, monarchs have spent one week every year formally holding court in the Palace in Edinburgh. The present Queen still uses it when she visits Scotland for State occasions (on non-State occasions, she stays at Balmoral). Its use has increased substantially since the setting up of the Scottish Parliament in 1999, with various members of the Royal Family, notably the Prince Charles and the Princess Anne regularly staying there. It has even been suggested that a member of the Royal Family, widely expected to be the Princess Royal (who has strong Scottish connections) may well become a full-time royal resident in the Palace, representing the Queen.

At the Palace Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom meets and appoints the First Minister of Scotland. During the British presidency of the European Union a meeting of the European Council took place here.

During times when the Queen or another member of the Royal Family is not in residence, it is open to the public.

The Queen's Gallery is located within the Palace complex, while the new Scottish Parliament Building is located across the road from the palace.

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the abbey ruin adjacent to the Palace

The Keeper of Holyroodhouse

A measure of the importance of Holyroodhouse is the status of its Keeper, who was appointed to oversee the Palace in the absence of the court. There were various grants of the office of Keeper of Holyroodhouse until 1646 when Charles I conferred it heritably on the 1st Duke of Hamilton, whose descendants have retained it ever since. The post is one of the Great Offices in the Royal Household in Scotland. As well as his own deputy, the Keeper still appoints the Bailie of Holyroodhouse, who is responsible for law and order within the Holyrood Abbey Sanctuary.

There was formerly a separate hereditary Keeper of Holyrood Park, which surrounds Holyroodhouse, held by the Earls of Haddington. This was purchased by the Crown and the office extinguished in 1843 after disputes over the Keeper's right to allow quarrying within the Park.

External links

he:ארמון הולירוד sv:Holyrood Palace

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