George IV visits Scotland


King George IV visits Scotland, the first reigning British monarch to do so since Charles II in 1650. George landed at Leith on the 15th August, 1822 and travelled in a grand procession on to Edinburgh. His visit was stage-managed by famous author Sir Walter Scott (1771 - 1832), who wished to demonstrate the loyalty of the King's Scottish subjects, while re-assuring the Scots that George supported them. He visited Holyrood Palace, but this was not in a sufficient state of repair for his residence, so the King stayed with the young Walter Francis Montagu Douglas Scott (5th Duke of Buccleuch, 1806-84) at Dalkeith House. Events included a Presbyterian church service in St. Giles Kirk in Edinburgh, a grand ball in the Assembly Rooms on George Street, a parade up the Royal Mile from Holyrood Palace to Edinburgh Castle, a banquet in Parliament House hosted by the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, a review of 3000 soldiers in Portobello and a visit to Hopetoun House. Despite going no further than the immediate area of Edinburgh, the visit was an unqualified success, creating great excitement locally and tremendous enthusiasm for all things Scottish from the English nobility. It is commemorated by several statues.

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