Holyrood Abbey
April 26, 2024

Holyroodhouse and more

Last day in Edinburgh for this trip saw us walking down the Royal Mile through cannon gate to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence of the King when he is in Scotland.  It is situated across from the Scottish Parliament, a very contemporary conglomeration of buildings.  There is a long and storied history of this palace  especially as it relates to Mary Queen of Scots.  She married her second husband, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley (1545–67), in the Palace chapel in 1565, and her Italian secretary, David Rizzio (c.1533–66), was murdered by Darnley in her private apartments in 1566. When you find yourself standing in the queen’s chamber you can feel the spirits of the larger than life figures. Portraits of the kings and queens of England and Scotland line the walls in every room – there is even one of Robert the Bruce and Bonnie Prince Charlie.  It is hard to wrap your mind around the history that is displayed before you.

Our afternoon was spent with Tom Miers, my collaborator on the book project.  We ventured into Leith for lunch and to discuss the book.  Tom is wonderful to drive around with as he is constantly importing tidbits of information about the history of places you find yourself being chaufered through.  Leith is a port town once boasting a warehouse waterfront that now contains new apartments as well as apartments created within the old warehouses.  It is a neighborhood that reminds me of Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires. After a great lunch we headed back to the hotel and I made my way to the Scottish craft maker where I ordered a long kilt in the tartan of the MacDonalds Lords of the Isles.  Now, when I give talks about the Lords of the Isles project I will be aiuthentically garbed!

Tomorrow we are off to Oban via Dunfermline – my adventure in driving on the left side of the road!