Mary Queen of Scots pippins

Mary Queen of Scots

In the days of bodices and doublets the upper classes could use dolls to get an idea of how a particular outfit would look at life size. They’re the only known evidence for the use of “pippins” (from the French poupée) in Renaissance Scotland, and were used by the European glitterati in the 16th and 17th century as a way of keeping up with the latest trends. Research undertaken by Dr Michael Pearce on behalf of Historic Environment Scotland shows that after the battle of Carberry (which led inexorably to her downfall) “pippens, fantasies, and feathers” belonging to Mary Queen of Scots were packed away and locked up in Edinburgh Castle. Dr Pearce comments: “The inventory also reveals how Mary dressed these pippins in the best silks to fashion her European court, as it records a payment in 1563 to Jacques, her tailor, to make grey and silver clothes for a set of dolls. “Much more useful than diplomatic accounts or portraits, these dolls’ outfits would have been exquisitely crafted to display the latest trends in materials, accessories and dress styles. Hello Dollies … Stuart era fashionistas used these 16th century Barbies as guides to the latest style “The miniature versions could then be exchanged and replicated by tailors elsewhere”. Rachel Pickering, Senior Cultural Resources Advisor at HES, said: “While fashion dolls such as these became common in the 17th century, evidence for their earlier use is poorly documented – making this new interpretation of Mary’s inventories so significant. “There is evidence of use of these dolls in 16th century France, with records showing Francois I requested a set from Isabella d’Este, one of the leading women of the Italian Renaissance, for the women of his court. “Mary Queen of Scots was raised at the court of Francois’ son Henry II, and his wife, Catherine de Medici also had a set of dolls among her personal belongings”.

Visit the key locations in the life of Mary Queen of Scots on our private tours. Phone 07305-294773 for more details

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Blackness Castle stars in movie blockbuster The Outlaw King

Blackness Castle plays a grisly role in the 120 million dollar movie blockbuster The Outlaw King opened  the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.

Take a tour of Blackness Castle in our film locations tour . Phone 07305-294773 for more details or contact us online . Starring Chris Pine as Robert the Bruce the lavish Netflix production was filmed at locations across Scotland last year, also including Linlithgow Palace. Blackness Castle. But the Blackness scene won’t be forgotten in a hurry – it features an actress playing historical character Isabella MacDuff being suspended from the battlements in an iron cage.

Blackness castle tours, Blackness castle pictures
Blackness Castle stars in movie blockbuster The Outlaw King

Filming for The Outlaw King at Blackness took place over two weeks  and (off camera), a mobile crane was used to support the notorious cage – where the actress reportedly endured several takes in freezing cold.

The movie is on general release  and its initial trailer clip  registered 26 million views in the first 24 hours. It can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-G1BME8FKw Filmed entirely on location in Scotland, the movie was shot in key locations around the country, including Edinburgh , Linlithgow and Berwick. The Outlaw King is the most expensive film ever made in Scotland .

blackness castle outlander, Blackness castle pictures
Blackness Castle stars in The Outlaw King

Many or most of the extras involved are Scottish – the production company was besieged by Scots aiming to play the part of foot soldiers in King Robert’s army when it advertised for extras last year. Iconic actor James Cosmo, (70), who appears in the film reportedly says it could be Scotland’s greatest ever movie, likely to replicate for key Scottish historic sites the phenomenal surge of visitors to Stirling in the wake of the 1995 release of Braveheart (in which he also starred). That will mean new droves of tourists heading for Blackness, already benefiting from its appearance in Outlander, and to many other locations across the central belt associated with the Scottish Wars of Independence.

The Outlaw King tells the story of how Robert the Bruce, who defied England’s King Edward I, became a hunted fugitive but turned the tables to inflict crushing defeat on the English army at Bannockburn and ultimately won Scottish independence. Rounding off a golden year for major Scottish-based history epics a new movie about Mary Queen of Scots also launches in November. Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Scotland has the talent and the opportunity to grow its TV sector and the job of Screen Scotland is to make sure we seize the moment.”

Jenni Steele, film and creative industries manager at national tourism agency VisitScotland, said: “Film tourism is booming in Scotland, with Outlaw King and Mary Queen of Scots some of the exciting new films set to feature the country on screen. “Film and TV productions not only showcase the unique mix of stunning landscapes, rich heritage and fascinating stories Scotland offers, but can inspire set-jetting fans to visit, with research showing that one in five visitors come here after seeing Scotland on the big and small screen.”

All Blackness Castle pictures are copyright Private Tours Edinburgh 2019

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Mary Queen of Scots tours

Mary Queen of Scots tours – four locations

Our tour features a visit to the key places in the life of Mary Queen of Scots including Linlithgow Palace and Stirling Castle . The new Mary Queen of Scots film features Oscar Nominee Saoirse Ronan performs the role of the ambitious Mary, whose attempts to reclaim the throne of Scotland incurs the wrath of the virgin queen, Elizabeth I, played by Margot Robbie.

  1. Linlithgow Palace

Linlithgow Palace is where Mary was born in 1542.

Linlithgow Palace tours

Next to the Palace is the medieval St Michael’s Parish Church where Mary was baptised . A new bronze statue of Mary has been erected next to the church .

Linlithgow Palace featured as Wentworth Prison in Outlander.
This royal pleasure palace and birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots

 

 

 

2. Stirling Castle is where Mary was brought to be crowned as an infant.

This was her home until she was 5 years old. The castle features the royal palace , rose gardens and Royal Apartments. In the castle Mary saw the baptism of her son, James VI . Sadly this is also the place where she sees him for the last time.

3. Loch Leven

Loch Leven recalls one of the more sombre periods in Mary’s life. Loch Leven Castle is where Mary was imprisoned for nearly a year, suffered a miscarriage and was forced to abdicate in favour of her son James. She eventually escaped with the help of George Douglas but went on to suffer defeat at The Battle of Langside, and on to imprisonment in England. On the tour we stop at Loch Leven .

falkland palace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Falkland Palace, the favourite retreat of the Stewarts. Mary is thought to have enjoyed some of her happiest days here, enjoying hunting and hawking and playing tennis on the world’s oldest tennis court. On a more haunting note, it is here that her father James V was said to utter the prophecy of The Stewart Dynasty “It cam’ wi’ a lass and it’ll gang wi’ a lass” and you can also see a copy of her death mask.

Nine key dates in the life of Mary Queen of Scots

  1. Born 8 December 1542 in Linlithgow Palace.
  2. Crowned Queen of Scots in the Chapel Royal, Stirling Castle, aged just nine months.
  3. Smuggled to France aged five, where she lived until she was 18.
  4. Gave birth to her only child in Edinburgh Castle. He would rise to become James VI of Scotland and I of England.
  5. Some believe she arranged to have her second husband, Lord Darnley, assassinated.
  6. Married for a third time to Lord Bothwell – some believe he abducted her against her will.
  7. Imprisoned for almost a year in Lochleven Castle in Kinross before managing to escape.
  8. Last hours in Scotland were spent in Dundrennan Abbey in Dumfries & Galloway before journeying to England to seek protection from her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I.
  9. Confined in England for 18 years before Elizabeth sanctioned her death warrant and she was beheaded. She died 8 February 1587 in Fotheringhay Castle.

Glen Coe, the Highlands , Scotland
Glen Coe, the Highlands , Scotland

The new Mary Queen of Scots film features Oscar Nominee Saoirse Ronan performs the role of the ambitious Mary, whose attempts to reclaim the throne of Scotland incurs the wrath of the virgin queen, Elizabeth I, played by Margot Robbie. Former Dr Who David Tennant also features in the film as John Knox  . Much of the filming for the £180 million project has taken place in Edinburgh, 20 miles from the queen’s  birthplace in Linlithgow, with scenes also shot in Glencoe, Blackness Castle , Oxford and Derbyshire. The film also features a digital recreation of Linlithgow Palace ,  birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots.

Mary Queen of Scots tours cost £230 – phone 07305-294773 or book online .

Lonely Planet

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