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Oak panels linked to Marie de Guise unveiled in Scotland


Photo by National Museums Scotland

Four oak armorial panels once hanging in a home inhabited by Marie de Guise, Mary Queen of Scot’s mother and wife of James V, are now part of the collections of the National Museums Scotland. The acquisition was announced on a meaningful day, with 8 December being the birthday of Mary, Queen of Scots.

These types of roundels were found in royal and noble houses and, according to the museum, “were used to promote the elite status of those who lived in the apartments and to demonstrate their relationships with powerful people.”

They are said to have come from a house in Edinburgh’s Old Town where Marie de Guise lived from roughly 1543 to 1554 and have been conserved by National Museums Scotland. The panels are not yet on display to the public, but information will be announced in due course.

Marie became Queen Regent when she married James V in June 1538, and one of the panels features the combined coats of arms of James and Marie, later used by their daughter Mary, Queen of Scots. James V died only six days after Mary, Queen of Scots’ 8 December birth, leaving Marie in charge of her daughter’s upbringing.

Conservator Gemma Frew works on an Armorial panel associated with Marie de Guise. Photo by National Museums Scotland

Dr Anna Groundwater, Principal Curator, Renaissance and Early Modern History at National Museums Scotland, said: “These armorial panels are a fantastic addition to the National Collections. We are very pleased to have been able to acquire them and look forward to putting them on public display in the future. They are important pieces in their own right and complement our existing collection of material associated with Marie de Guise already on display. We are particularly pleased to add these marital coat of arms of Mary, Queen of Scots‘ parents.“  

Other decorative objects associated with Marie de Guise already at home in National Museums Scotland’s collections include carved oak doors salvaged from the same house, along with 16 oak medallion panels. 

National Museums Scotland is one of the leading museum groups in the UK and Europe and includes the National Museum of Scotland, the National Museum of Flight, the National Museum of Rural Life, and the National War Museum. 

About author

Kristin is Chief Reporter for Royal Central and has been following the British royal family for more than 30 years. Kristin has appeared in UK and U.S. media outlets discussing the British royals including BBC Breakfast, BBC World News, Sky News, the Associated Press, TIME, The Washington Post, and many others.