The Honours of Scotland


The crown jewels consist of The Crown, Sword and Sceptre which date back to the late 15th and early 16th century. These were in place during the reigns of James IV and James V, the grandfather and father of Mary Queen of Scots.

The Sceptre

The Sceptre was a gift from Pope Alexander VI to James IV to signify papal countenance of Scotland. The Sceptre was remodelled at its apex and featured figures in miniature of the Virgin and child, St. James, St. Andrew and the Dauphin depicted on either side. At the top of the Sceptre there was a large polished rock crystal.

The Sword

The Sword of State was also presented to James IV in 1507. It was a beautiful sword, 4.5 feet in length with a silver gilt handle adorned with oak leaves and acorns signifying the rising of Christ. At the bottom of the handle were two oak leaves overlapping the blade. The blade was engraved with figures of St Peter, St Paul and Pope Julius. It was thought the break in the blade was due to it being broken in two so that it could be conveyed in dark red velvet and mounted with silver gilt, woven silk and gold thread and decorated with the Arms of Pope Julius. It was later used for ceremonial purposes.

The Crown

The Crown was originally made for James V and redesigned by an Edinburgh goldsmith by the name of James Mosman. James V wore the Crown for his wifeís Coronation in the Abbey Church of Holyrood. The base of the Crown was made from Scottish gold and overlaid with 22 gemstones, 20 precious stones taken from the original Crown and freshwater pearls from some of Scotlandís rivers. It weighed a total of 3lbs 10ozs.

The Royal regalia were first used at the Coronation of Mary Queen of Scots when she was just nine months old and then again at the Coronation of her infant son James VI and her grandson Charles I. 

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