Edinburgh’s Royal Connections
This week, on September 9th, Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-reigning British monarch. This coincided with another important occasion, the opening of the £294 million Scottish Borders Railway and a royal visit to the city of Edinburgh. During the visit, the Queen spoke of her newest milestone.
“Inevitably a long life can pass by many milestones – my own is no exception – but I thank you all and the many others at home and overseas for your touching messages of great kindness,” – HM The Queen
The Queen and her husband, 94-year-old Prince Philip, travelled by steam train from Edinburgh to Tweedbank, where she formally opened the new Scottish Borders Railway.
“At 31 miles, it is the longest new domestic railway in Britain for more than a century. More important than those figures, however, are the benefits the line will create. It will bring improved services for tourists – who can reach the beauty and history of the Borders in less than an hour.” – Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister
However, despite the double celebration, the Queen’s appointment in Scotland was not an isolated royal visit. From Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh has a lengthy and fascinating royal history. The Queen’s official Scottish residence is The Palace of Holyroodhouse, while the now decommissioned Royal Yacht Britannia, which acted as transport for royal holidays, is now anchored in Leith for the enjoyment of tourists and locals alike.
“Britannia is the one place where I can truly relax” – HM The Queen
Tickets can be purchased in advance online, or can be purchased at the Visitor Centre. An audio tour is included in the ticket price and available in 27 different languages. View the State Apartments and Royal Bedrooms, have tea on the Royal Tea Deck or visit the engine room, the choice is yours!
Among other royal connections, the Crown Room in Edinburgh Castle still houses the Scottish Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny, while Canongate Kirk hosted the Royal Wedding of the Queen’s granddaughter, Zara Phillips and England rugby player, Mike Tindall in 2011.
The Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Scottish equivalent of Buckingham Palace stands proudly at the foot of Arthur’s Seat, next to the Scottish Parliament, and can be enjoyed through public tours – whilst Her Majesty is not in residence, of course! Various tours of are available, including a private ‘Behind the Ropes’ tour outside public opening hours.
From 9th September until 27th January 2016, visitors to the Palace of Holyroodhouse will have the opportunity to enjoy a photographic display, ‘Long to Reign over Us‘, marking the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as the longest of any British monarch. The Dickins team haven’t been yet, but we are very much looking forward to it.
Scotland’s ties with the royal family go back hundreds of years, and well beyond the realms of the City of Edinburgh. From Balmoral Castle in Royal Deeside to the University of St. Andrews, Scotland has long since proved to be a loved connection of the British Royal family.
Dickins has luxurious, self-catering apartments across Edinburgh that will allow you to explore the city. Search our properties to find your perfect home from home!