Linlithgow braced for Mary Queen of Scots effect

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The long-awaited historical epic about Linlithgow’s most famous daughter finally has its UK release in cinemas today (Friday).

VIP guests had a sneak peak of ‘Mary Queen of Scots’ at the second of two UK premieres at Edinburgh Castle on Monday and its leading lady, Saoirse Ronan, was in attendance.

Linlithgow MSP Fiona Hyslop, who met three time Oscar nominee Miss Ronan at the glittering occasion, said: “This is a great opportunity for both our national screen and tourism industries but it is also a fantastic opportunity for Linlithgow in particular as Mary, Queen of Scot’s birthplace.

“This new film will teach a whole new generation of young people about their history and heritage.

“As the local MSP I am well aware of the special place that we in Linlithgow hold in our hearts for Mary, Queen of Scots.

“A film has been long-awaited and I am very pleased that this important part of Scottish history has been put on a platform for the world to experience.”

Local historian and guide Bruce Jamieson said that the queen’s legend remained undimmed and added: “Mary still engenders such vivid emotions – this martyr, this wronged woman, this pawn in the political and religious game in which she was caught up. A queen who often ruled with her heart – not her head.”

Naturally, Linlithgow is expected to act as a magnet for fans of the film in what is being billed as ‘A Month of Mary’.

VisitScotland has now created an online interactive map featuring historical and on-screen locations linked to the monarch including Linlithgow Palace.

Neil Christison, Regional Director, VisitScotland, said: “Mary is a Scottish icon and an important part of Scotland’s history and culture. Linlithgow played a starring role in her life.

“We hope the film will further inspire visitors to explore the real historic locations that formed part of her fascinating story.”

Emma Chalmers, founder of Mary’s Meanders Tours and Visit West Lothian board director, said: “We as a town are very proud to be the birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots.

“We are delighted that this new film gives us a chance to highlight the connections between Mary and Linlithgow.

“We will encourage businesses, visitors and locals to celebrate the important role the town played in Mary’s life and share images of Linlithgow on social media using the hashtags, #MonthofMQS and #VisitLinlithgow, to hopefully inspire many more people to visit.”