06 July 2017

Jewel History: First Royal Court in Scotland in 34 Years (1937)

King George VI, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Elizabeth, and Princess Margaret at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, July 1937 (Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

"First Royal Court in Scotland in 34 Years Is Tribute to Queen"
(originally appeared in the Ottawa Journal, 7 Jul 1937)

Edinburgh, July 6 -- King George [1] paid tribute to his Scottish consort [2] tonight by holding the first Royal Court Scotland has seen since 1903. The oak-panelled throne room of Holyrood House [3], where Bonnie Prince Charlie [4] danced 200 years ago, was a brilliant setting for the modern court.

The King, on a state visit with his Queen to their "ancient and hereditary kingdom of Scotland," wore the uniform of the colonel-in-chief of the Scots Guards.

Queen Elizabeth wears her diamond and ruby circlet with the crown ruby suite in an official coronation portrait, taken in the spring of 1937 (AFP/Getty Images)

A gold brocade gown in a scroll design and with an Indian-embroidered gold train was worn by Queen Elizabeth, whose father is the Scottish Earl of Strathmore [5]. Upon her head glittered a diamond and ruby tiara.

Nearly 500 attended the function. More than 200 were presented to Their Majesties, the majority of them Scottish debutantes who usually must journey to London for presentation at court. Men of Scotland's ancient families appeared either in their colorful tartan kilts or in the uniforms of Highland regiments.

The Royal Company of Archers, the King's ancient body guard in Scotland, was on duty in the state chambers in green cloth uniforms embroidered with golden thistles and wearing cocked hats decorated with cock feathers.

The Palace of Holyroodhouse (J. Pugh/Central Press/Getty Images)

Turreted Holyrood will be the scene of other brilliant functions, including a garden party, daytime receptions, and other affairs during the state visit which will end Sunday when the King and Queen turn south for a similar state visit to Wales. Later they will visit Belfast, capital of Northern Ireland.


1. King George VI of the United Kingdom (1895-1952), who reigned from 1936 until his death in 1952, was the father of the present monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.

2. Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom (1900-2002), previously Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, was the wife of King George VI. Although she was born in England, her father was an aristocrat who held a Scottish title and owned large states in Scotland, including Glamis Castle.

3. The Palace of Holyroodhouse is the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland. Located on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, the current palace largely dates to the 16th and 17th centuries. The palace was a residence of many of Scotland's kings and queens, including Mary, Queen of Scots. The Queen spends one week in residence at Holyrood every summer.

4. During the Jacobite Rising in 1745, Charles Edward Stuart (1720-1788), grandson of King James VII and II and Jacobite pretender to the throne, held court at Holyrood for five weeks in September and October.

5. Claude Bowes-Lyon, 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne (1855-1944), grandfather of Queen Elizabeth II, succeeded to the Strathmore and Kinghorne earldom (in the peerage of Scotland) in 1904. When his son-in-law, King George VI, was crowned in 1937, Claude was also created Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne in the peerage of the UK, which allowed him to sit as an earl in the House of Lords. So, technically, Claude was both the 14th and the 1st Earl.