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Kings and Queens of Scotland
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Kings and Queens of ScotlandScottish and English monarchs had been linked by many centuries of war, inter-marriage and diplomacy. Pre-medieval Scotland was a mix of peoples. North of the Forth were the Picts, or 'painted people', who fought the Romans in the 1st century AD.

Later, people from Dalriada (Antrim) in Ireland settled in Argyll. These were the Scots, whose language developed into Gaelic. Other peoples included Angles in Lothian and Britons in Strathclyde. The uneasy balance between Picts, Britons, Scots and English was threatened in the 800s by invasions of Vikings from Scandinavia, and though in 843 Kenneth MacAlpin became ruler of both Picts and Scots in a kingdom known as Scotia, Viking attacks continued. Gradually, all peoples in Scotland came under the rule of the King of Scots.

After 1066 the Normans forced weaker Scottish kings to become their vassals and introduced Anglo-Norman feudal ways as well as their language. While some Scottish rulers were under the thumb of more powerful English kings, others were their rivals in prestige and majesty. Wars of resistance in the late 1200s and early 1300s, inspired by William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, threw off the English yoke laid on the Scots by Edward I and Edward III. Scotland emerged as a proudly independent kingdom under the Stuart (originally Stewart) kings. Relations with England, as with France, remained close through diplomatic marriages, and so it was that in 1603 James VI of Scotland found himself travelling south, much pleased, to become James I of England.

Overlooking auld reekie
The castle, Edinburgh's most striking landmark, stands on a basalt rock above the city. The oldest part of the castle is St Margaret's Chapel, built for the wife of Malcolm III in the 11th century.

Kings and Queens of Scotland

King of Scots
Alexander III crowned at Scone, in a 15th-century manuscript. The ceremony, in the presence of seven lords and seven bishops, ended with the king being hailed in Gaelic.

Kings and Queens of Scotland

Stone of Scone
The Stone of Destiny, seen here with the Honours of Scotland, is said to have arrived in Scotland around the year 500 with Fergus Мог mac Ere. It was moved to Scone by Kenneth MacAlpin in 843for his coronation and successive kings of Scotland were crowned upon it.

Kings and Queens of Scotland

The lion king
Robert the Bruce as a lion, surrounded by shields of his main supporters. From a decorated communal drinking cup called the Bute Mazer.

Kings and Queens of Scotland

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