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(The Scottish Crown Jewels)

The ancient Honours of Scotland - the crown, sceptre and sword of state - are on view in the Crown Room. One of the most romantic of the stories attached to the ancient crown jewels of Scotland concerns the manner of their rediscovery in 1818.

It was known that, at the Treaty of Union in 1707, when the old Scots Parliament was dissolved for ever (`the end of an auld sang'), the Scottish Regalia had been deposited within Edinburgh Castle. No more appropriate resting-place for these revered relics of Scotland's sovereignty could have been found. As the years passed, there were disturbing rumours that the ancient regalia had been quietly removed to London.

Eventually, largely by the intercession of that super-patriot Sir Walter Scott, authority was obtained from the Prince Regent (later George IV) in 1818 to make a search of the castle. In an oak chest within what is now the Crown Room, with Scott among the spectators, there was found the precious regalia, including the crown that had been made in the time of the great Bruce. Scott's emotions have been recorded by the historian James Grant: `The joy was therefore extreme when, the ponderous lid having been forced open ... the regalia were discovered lying at the bottom covered with linen cloths, exactly as they had been left in 1707.'

Today the ancient symbols of sovereignty are on permanent display to the people in that same room, where they saw the light of day once more almost two centuries ago. As one gazes upon the gleaming crown, sceptre and sword of state, it is not difficult to conjure up the drama of some earlier chapters of that `auld sang'.


The Honours of Scotland

The Honours are on display in the Crown Room at the Palace at Edinburgh Castle.

The Crown
The crown was remodelled by James V in 1540. It was made from Scottish gold from the Crawford Moor mine. It is believed that it was made by French craftsmen.

The Sceptre
A gift from the Pope to James IV in 1494.
It too was remodelled by James V, who even added his initials to the sceptre. The globe of the sceptre is a cut and polished rock crystal, with a Scottish pearl on top.

The Sword of State
Another gift from another pope to James IV in 1507. A fine example of craftsmanship, it came complete with swordbelt and a consecrated hat. The blade is one metre long.






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