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The Honors of Scotland

Today I want to look at the Kingdom of Scotland. I have always had a warm spot in my heart for Scotland. Although I became interested in royalty by examining the kings and queens of England I quickly learned that Scotland had its own kings and queens, its own traditions and its own identity. I feel that in some ways the identity of the Scottish monarchy has been lost, engulfed and out shined by its bigger brother. Those are feelings attitudes that I can relate to. I was watching the show Monarchy, the Royal Family at Work last night and they were showing guests at a Garden Party where one English lady spoke about being nervous meeting the “queen of England.” As I said in another post Her Majesty is neither the queen of England nor the queen Scots as these ceased to be separate sovereign states in 1707. She is the queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Scotland existed from 843 until 1707 as its own sovereign state. Scotland, known as Alba in more distant history, was united by King Cináed I of Scotland (Kenneth MacAlpin) in 843. Cináed united the clans of the ancient kingdoms of Dál Riata and the Picts. The Kingdom of Strathclyde and the northern regions of the English Kingdom of Northumbria was incorporated into Scotland at a later date. Sadly too many people get their image of Scotland from such movies as Braveheart which depicted Scotland as a nation of warring primitive clans. While warring clans is a part of their history, Scotland also had a rich culture and by the fifteenth century Scotland was very advanced in areas such as educational systems with the founding of the University of St Andrews in 1413, the University of Glasgow in 1450 and the University of Aberdeen in 1494, and with the passing of the Education Act 1496 under James IV, King of Scots.

When James VI of Scotland inherited the throne from Elizabeth I of England in 1603 and moved south to London, Scotland lost its epicenter and part of its identity as a separate sovereign state. Its unique identity was lost in 1707 with the union with England. The monarchs of Great Britain payed little head to Scotland unless it was needed such as the times of the English Civil Wars of the mid 17th century. The monarchs making their home in London did not have much of a presence in Scotland until the reign of Queen Victoria who purchased Balmoral Castle located at Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, Scotland in 1852 and has been a favorite retreat for the royal family ever since.

In the fall of 2014 the Scottish Government will vote on a Referendum Bill seeking independence from the United Kingdom. From what I have read they will continue to have Elizabeth II be their head of state, as Elizabeth, Queen of Scots. Whatever the outcome I do want to continue to raise awareness of people to the uniqueness and splendor of Scotland.