Skip Navigation or Skip to Content

Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites

This exhibition explored the real story of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, better known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, and the rise and fall of the Jacobites.
Exhibition information


23 June - 12 November 2017


National Museum of Scotland, Exhibition gallery 1, Level 3

How much



The history of the exiled Stuart dynasty and their supporters, known as Jacobites, has held an enduring and romantic fascination for generations, from the writings of Sir Walter Scott to the current Outlander books and television series. Featuring the very best of Scotland’s national collections, alongside treasures from across the UK and Europe, this exhibition presents the wider story of the Jacobites, one which is more layered, complex and dramatic than any fictional imaginings.

Step into the world of the Royal House of Stuart, a dynasty divided into two courts by religion, politics and war, each fighting for the throne of the three kingdoms of Scotland, England and Ireland. Discover how four Jacobite kings became pawns in a much wider European political game. And follow the Jacobites’ fight to regain their lost kingdoms through five challenges to the throne, the last ending in crushing defeat at the Battle of Culloden and Bonnie Prince Charlie’s escape to the Isle of Skye and onwards to Europe.

More than 300 spectacular objects including paintings, costumes, jewellery, documents, weapons and glassware will bring to life the events of this turbulent period in European history. Discover who the Jacobites really were and examine some of the misconceptions that have surrounded their story for generations.

Am Prionnsa Teàrlach agus na Seumasaich

Tha eadar-theangachadh teacsa nam prìomh-phanailean airson taisbeanadh a’ Phrionnsa Teàrlach agus nan Seumasach san sgrìobhainn seo:

Am Prionnsa Teàrlach agus na Seumasaich

This document contains the Gaelic translations of the text for the main panels in the exhibition Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites:

Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites

  • Louis-Gabriel-Blanchet,-Prince-Charles-Edward-Stuart,-1739.jpg

    Louis Gabriel Blanchet, Prince Charles Edward Stuart, 1739. Image: Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017.

  • bonnie-prince-charlie.jpg

    Portrait of Prince Charles Edward Stewart (detail from a miniature, watercolour on bone, artist and date unknown).

  • Broadsword Hla 124

    The inscription on this broadsword shows support for James ‘VIII’, the son of the deposed King James VII and father of Bonnie Prince Charlie

  • Highly decorated Jacobite round shield or targe with silver mounts. Medusa's face is in the centre surrounded by quivers, flags, swords and guns.

    This targe, or shield, was presented to Prince Charles before Culloden, but abandoned when the Prince fled the field after the Jacobites were defeated.

  • Travellingcanteen1 Hmeq 15841

    Bonnie Prince Charlie brought this elaborate set of travelling cutlery and two wine beakers with him to Scotland in 1745.

  • bpc-glass.jpg

    Wine glass featuring a picture of Bonnie Prince Charlie.

  • Backsword-presented-to-bpc.jpg

    Backsword presented to Bonnie Prince Charlie by James, 3rd Duke of Perth, c.1740.

  • Embroidered-mitre-cap.jpg

    Embroidered mitre cap bearing the cypher of William and Mary flanked by thistles c.1690.

  • yellow-jacket-a-1906-337.jpg

    Man's sleeved waistcoat of yellow silk rep, embroidered with a floral design in silver thread, said to have belonged to Prince Charles Edward Stuart.

  • tartan-coat-k-2002-1031.jpg

    Short tartan frock coat with velvet collar and cuffs and lined in wool twill and linen, associated with Prince Charles Edward Stuart.

View full screen

On the trail of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites

The National Museum of Scotland is part of a new trail of 26 attractions across Scotland whose history is intertwined with the Jacobite story.

Sponsored by

Explore more

Back to top