Fiona Hyslop (right) chats with the pupils about Mary, Queen of Scots and her links with Linlithgow Palace.
The pupils from Low Port Primary School and Linlithgow Primary School chose a number of items to be included in the specially- designed time capsule as part of a project on Mary, Scotland’s last sovereign queen.
Along with class photographs, school logos and house badges, Margaret Lumsdaine, president of the Marie Stuart Society and the driving force behind the statue’s creation, included a copy of the Society’s newsletter and a bookmark.
Other items ranged from a Historic Scotland magazine article, a miniature bottle of whisky and photographs of people involved in the statue’s creation.
The bronze, seven-foot statue of Mary will stand on Linlithgow Peel. The statue’s plinth is being carved by apprentice stonemasons from Historic Scotland while the lettering will be gilded by an apprentice painter.
The statue, which was commissioned by the Marie Stuart Society following several years of fundraising, will be gifted to Scottish Ministers and maintained by Historic Scotland.
Fiona Hyslop, cabinet secretary for culture, Europe and external affairs, said: “Helping young people to live and breathe the past and leave a legacy for the future is so important as it excites and engages the next generation.
‘‘As well as learning about their nation’s past, it is wonderful to see pupils from my local constituency learning about the history of their immediate environment with such passion and interest.”
“By placing this statue in an area which is often utilised by visitors to the palace, dog walkers, joggers, commuters, fishermen, families and others, the ambition is to get as many people as possible to engage with Scotland’s culture and heritage. I am grateful to Historic Scotland for siting the statue with such a marvellous vista, overlooking the loch on one side and the palace on the other.”
Sasha Kelsey (11), a pupil at Linlithgow Primary School, said: “I feel so lucky that our school has had a chance to take part in this important event which has been organised by Historic Scotland. I’m very proud of Linlithgow for being the birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots and this statue will commemorate the past and the present day.”
David Mitchell, director of conservation at Historic Scotland, said: “Mary, Queen of Scots is perhaps Scotland’s most intriguing and poignant monarch.
‘‘Her short life was defined by her struggles, she had a tumultuous love life, which included the murders of both a husband and a man thought to be her lover; spent years in captivity at the hands of a relative and was ultimately executed. Hers is a story with everything and her popularity endures to this day.”
The finished statue will be unveiled at a special ceremony on Saturday, April 25.