An email from the Royal Collection Trust last week told me that it’s 275 years this month, since Bonnie Prince Charlie held court at Holyrood Palace for six weeks during his ill-fated 1745 campaign.
If you follow this blog, you’ll know I love my Scottish history, and have attended some great events up in Edinburgh, including a study day a couple of years ago, centred around the life of Bonnie Prince Charlie, focused on the great exhibition the National Museum of Scotland was currently holding on his life. Last year, I was also lucky enough to be in Edinburgh at just the right time, as again, my beloved NMS was displaying a recently-discovered painting of the Prince. I can’t believe really, that was only May 2019!
You see a pattern then?
Well, late last year, the North Tyneside Writers’ Circle that I co-host, decided we wanted to publish a collection of our work. The theme is ‘from river to sea’, and quite by chance, I discovered that Bonnie Prince Charlie both was born and died in the same building, the Palazzo Muti, in Rome. All being well, I’ll be going to see the place for myself in a couple of weeks, but that aside, it set me off thinking, about how this dream of reclaiming Scotland essentially began and ended on the banks of the Tiber, that there was a lot of travelling by water involved (including, of course, that famous escape to Skye), and that the whole 1745 campaign could have been seen as a tide, rising, building, then turning.
With this image in mind, I began, and I have to say, I love the piece of writing I submitted for the collection. I cannot wait to share it with you when the collection comes out, but for now, here’s the opening line, which honestly, makes me quite proud as a writer!
A Jacobean Tide: It started on the banks of a river, the mighty Tiber, winding its way through the glories of Rome, carrying dreams of rule, of restoration, of revenge.
There are some great resources on the RCT’s website, including these songs from Jacobean times, including that favourite, the Skye Boat Song…
So, whether you raise a glass to the Jacobean memory or not, forgive a bit of nostalgia for my escape-city, which I cannot wait to get back to!