Sunday 13 February 2000
Highlights: Royal Mile, Palace of Holyroodhouse, St Giles Cathedral
We sent today walking the Royal Mile. A road connecting Edinburgh Castle with the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
Most of the attractions were shut until 2 pm as it was Sunday or we were not interested in the ones that were. However we could admire the fine architecture of buildings dating from 16th century to present.
We did a guided tour of the Palace of Holyroodhouse. This was the preferred residence of the Scottish Royal Family since it gets so cold at the castle. The interesting aspect of the tour is that Kings & Queens rarely sleep together.
In fact Mary Queen of Scots husband killed secretary David Rizzio in front of her. Mary’s husband was murdered later probably on her orders. The Palace has been rarely used since James I went to London to rule both Scotland and England. The Queen visits and stays for 5-7 days each year.
We managed to sneak onto an organised tour of St Giles Cathedral. One of the most interesting rooms was the Chapel built for the Knights of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle. There are 16 Knights who must be Scottish. The Queen must be in attendance to appiint a new Knight. The Queen attends as Queen of Scotland only.
The Scottish Reformation started here and ironically the start of Charles I eventual execution and the removal of the monarchy had it’s foundations here. Charles I tried to bring Scotland religion together with England and a small war started. Eventually as a result Parliament was recalled which allowed Cromwell to grab power. Ironic as Scotland rebelled at these actions and fought for Charles I’s son to restore the monarchy.