Discover a compelling story of loyalty, loss, rebellion and retribution in this major exhibition.

#Jacobites

Explore the real story of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, better known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, and the rise and fall of the Jacobites.


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. Image: Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017.

    Louis Gabriel Blanchet, Prince Charles Edward Stuart, 1739. Image: Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017.
  • Portrait of Prince Charles Edward Stewart (detail from a miniature, watercolour on bone, artist and date unknown).

    Portrait of Prince Charles Edward Stewart (detail from a miniature, watercolour on bone, artist and date unknown).
  • The inscription on this broadsword shows support for James ‘VIII’, the son of the deposed King James VII and father of Bonnie Prince Charlie

    The inscription on this broadsword shows support for James ‘VIII’, the son of the deposed King James VII and father of Bonnie Prince Charlie
  • This targe, or shield, was presented to Prince Charles before Culloden, but abandoned when the Prince fled the field after the Jacobites were defeated.

    This targe, or shield, was presented to Prince Charles before Culloden, but abandoned when the Prince fled the field after the Jacobites were defeated.
  • Bonnie Prince Charlie brought this elaborate set of travelling cutlery and two wine beakers with him to Scotland in 1745.

    Bonnie Prince Charlie brought this elaborate set of travelling cutlery and two wine beakers with him to Scotland in 1745.
  • Wine glass featuring a picture of Bonnie Prince Charlie.

    Wine glass featuring a picture of Bonnie Prince Charlie.
  • Backsword presented to Bonnie Prince Charlie by James, 3rd Duke of Perth, c.1740.

    Backsword presented to Bonnie Prince Charlie by James, 3rd Duke of Perth, c.1740.
  • Embroidered mitre cap bearing the cypher of William and Mary flanked by thistles c.1690.

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

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

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

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. Learn more at www.jacobitetrail.co.uk

Exclusive group visits

We have two options for exclusive group visits to the exhibition, both providing the perfect start to a ‘Jacobite’ tour of Scotland. Find out more about available group visits here, or visit our Travel Trade page.

Photography policy

The exhibition includes many significant loans. For some of these it is a condition of loan that photography by exhibition visitors is not allowed. As these loans are spread throughout the gallery, we are unable to allow photography in this space and ask visitors to respect this in order to ensure these fantastic objects are available for all to enjoy when visiting the exhibition.   

Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites is sponsored by

Baillie Gifford

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Events
Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites events

Explore our programme of events exploring the themes of the exhibition Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites.
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Event
Free online course: Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites

Real objects and our team of academic experts reveal the Jacobite story.
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Blog
Jacobites blog posts

Go behind the scenes of our major exhibition, Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites.
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Feature
Bonnie Prince Charlie, the Jacobites and Outlander

After Culloden, the Jacobite cause quickly became the subject of romantic nostalgia, expressed through poetry and song. Bonnie Prince Charlie's doomed challenge continues to fuel the imagination today, through fiction, film and television, and in particular through Diana Gabaldon's best-selling Outlander series.
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Story
The Jacobite challenge

Discover the story of the Jacobites and Prince Charles Edward Stuart, better known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, through key objects from the national collection.
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Exhibition information

When

23 Jun - 12 Nov 2017

Where

Exhibition gallery 1, Level 3

How much

Adult £10
Concession* £8
Child (12–15) £7 (under 12s free)
Members: free
National Art Pass holders: 50% discount

* 60+, students with valid NUS or Young Scot card, unemployed with ID, disabled people. Carers of disabled people free.

All tickets include a discretionary donation. If you do not wish to make a charitable donation the admission prices are: Adult £9, Concession £7.20, Child £6.30. Tickets are subject to a transaction booking fee and postal costs.

A version of the exhibition text is available in Gaelic in the downloads below.

Booking information

Book in person, by calling 0300 123 6789, or book online.

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