31/12/2018
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Mary Queen of Scots brooch on display in Edinburgh

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A brooch gifted by Mary Queen of Scots to her close friend Mary Seton is now on display at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh for the first time.

The brooch was gifted by the queen to Mary Seton, a devoted assistant and friend of the queen who lived with her at Holyrood Palace from 1561–66.  She was one of the four attendants known as the ‘Four Marys’ who spent many years in France with the exiled Queen. 

      QUICK LINK: Read about the 'Four Mary's in our souvenir Mary magazine

Mary Seton continued to accompany Mary Queen of Scots during her captivity in England.  Sir Francis Knollys, an English courtier charged with the care of the Queen, noted that Mary Seton ‘did set such a curled hair upon the Queen… every other day she hath a new device of head dressing, without any cost, and yet setteth forth a woman gaily well’.

The Mary Queen of Scots brooch

The brooch dates from c.1580 and is made from enamelled gold and studded with pearls and rubies.  It can be seen in the Outer Chamber of the Mary Queen of Scots apartments at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
 
Mary Queen of Scots lived at the Palace following her return from exile in France in 1561. In 1565 she married Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, in the Palace chapel; just a year later her Italian secretary, David Rizzio, was murdered by Darnley in front of the Queen, in her private apartments.
 
The private apartments of Mary Queen of Scots have recently been re-presented as part of a £10 million investment by Royal Collection Trust to enhance the visitor experience at the Palace. A royal residence for more than 500 years, the Palace of Holyroodhouse has served as home to both Mary, Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie
 
Image: Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019
 

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