Mary Queen of Scots was one of the most famous women in Scottish history but her reign is not marked by a permanent memorial in her country or birth.
The only surviving legitimate child of King James V of Scotland was just six days old when her father died and she acceded to the throne.
Mary’s first 20 years were an amazing roller-coaster of a life. She then spent the last 20 years as a prisoner before being beheaded.
Most of her childhood was spent in France while Scotland was ruled by regents and, in 1558, she married the Dauphin of France, Francis.
But, despite a life which was regularly embroiled in scandal, love and tragedy, she still remains unique as she is one of very few monarchs over the centuries who are without a statue in their own country.
Now an appeal has been launched by the Marie Stuart Society to help fund an £80,000 monument at her birthplace, Linlithgow Palace, after an earlier plea to the Scottish Parliament for a bronze casting to be erected was dismissed – apparently the feeling was that such a monument would not be in keeping with the style of the building,
The Society is hoping that Mary’s admirers will help fund this new chapter in history – and give her the recognition they feel she so rightly deserves.
Margaret Lumsdaine, president of the society, said their project has an artist in place and backing from Historic Scotland. She added: “As far as we are aware there is no official statue of the queen in Scotland which is at all times accessible to the public.
“We believe one at Linlithgow Palace would rightly honour one of our most famous figures and attract those following the trail of the queen.”
Historic Scotland has agreed to install the statue, which will be situated at the Peel and then to take responsibility for it.
The statue has already been designed by the late Aberdonian sculptor Anne Davidson and will be scaled-up and cast by David Annand, a well-known Scottish sculptor. The monarch’s reign is marked in London with a statue at 143 Fleet Street and another in the back porch of Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire.
There is already an ‘‘unofficial’’ statue of Queen Mary in the garden of Annet House museum in the town’s High Street.