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British RoyalsPalaces & Buildings

George V and his role in modernising the Palace of Holyroodhouse

george v

The Palace of Holyroodhouse is the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland. While its history dates back to the 12th century, it is still well-used by today’s generation of the royal family.

King George V ruled from 6 May 1910 until his death in 1936. This made him one of the first members of the British Royal Family to implement modern advances in royal households.

Before George V’s reign his predecessor, King Edward VII, briefly visited the palace in 1903. It would be Queen Victoria and Prince Albert who would be the last ones to use the palace on more frequent occasions. During Prince Albert’s 1850 residence, the King’s Apartments would be refurbished as would several other areas including turning the king’s closet into The Queen’s breakfast room. In the 1870s, there would be more refurbishments except this would involve freeing up the king’s apartments and making them public. Queen Victoria would last reside here in November 1886.

Times had changed drastically by the time George V moved in. He would go on to install central heating, electric lighting, add new bathrooms and modernise the kitchens. He even installed a lift!

In 1922 the palace was selected as a site of the Scottish National Memorial to Edward VII. A statue of the king was placed on the forecourt facing the Abbey. As part of the memorial, the forecourt became enclosed with boundary walls, and wrought-iron gates and railings. The palace would be formally designated as the monarch’s official Scottish residence and became a location for regular ceremonies and events.

That continues to the present day. The King and Queen spent the early part of July at the Palace for ‘Royal Week’ and have been frequent visitors during His Majesty’s reign.

About author

My name is Sydney Zatz and I am a University of Iowa graduate. I graduated with a degree in journalism and sports studies, and a minor in sport and recreation management. A highlight of my college career was getting the chance to study abroad in London and experiencing royal history firsthand. I have a passion for royals, royal history, and journalism, which led me to want to write for Royal Central.