Join our panel of speakers as they investigate the Jacobite story and challenge many of the misconceptions that still surround this turbulent period in European history.


Please note that our original programme has changed. Please see our updated programme below. 

Chaired by historian Dr Fiona Watson, our expert panel will examine the wider Jacobite story: the significance of Culloden, Bonnie Prince Charlie’s court at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and how our conservators prepared costume pieces for display.

Your ticket also includes a complimentary guided visit to the Palace of Holyroodhouse from 17:15. During this visit you will view the rooms and spaces that Bonnie Prince Charlie frequented on his famous six-week sojourn in Edinburgh in 1745 when he set up court at Holyroodhouse. Sign up on the day when registering, further orientation information will be provided at this point. Please note, no photography is allowed inside the Palace.

In partnership with Royal Collection Trust.

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At the Auditorium, level 1, the National Museum of Scotland. Entry via Chambers Street. Tea and coffee will be served at registration from 10:00–10:30. 


Welcome and introduction from Chair

Dr Fiona Watson is an author, broadcaster, and historian. She is best known for her 2001 BBC series In Search of Scotland. She is former Senior Lecturer in Scottish History and founding Director of the Centre for Environmental History at the University of Stirling.


Bonnie Prince Charlie and the rise and fall of the Jacobites

Drawing on exceptional material from Scottish collections as well as treasures from across the UK and France, this talk will reveal who the Jacobites were and explore the cause that drove their campaigns.

David Forsyth is Principal Curator of Medieval-Early Modern Collections in the Department of Scottish History and Archaeology at National Museums Scotland and the curator of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites exhibition.


Bonnie Prince Charlie at the Palace of Holyroodhouse

In 1745, the Jacobites seized the city of Edinburgh and Bonnie Prince Charlie set up court at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. This talk uncovers the famous court of the ’45 Rising and discusses the ceremonies and events that took place during the Prince's residence at the Stuart palace.  

Deborah Clarke is Senior Curator, Royal Collection Trust, at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.



Conserving the Jacobites

The National Museum of Scotland’s Jacobite textile collections is of international importance. They are often unique objects, covering a range of materials and techniques. This talk will highlight the painstaking textile conservation work undertaken on large costume pieces - such as the silk dress said to have been worn by Margaret Oliphant of Gask at the Great Ball of Holyrood after the Battle of Prestonpans – and the small but highly symbolic white cockade.

  • Danielle Connolly is Assistant Textile Conservator at National Museums Scotland.
  • Miriam McLeod is Textile Conservator at National Museums Scotland.


Break and opportunity to view the exhibition.

Events Space is available for packed lunches.

National Museums Scotland Research Librarians will be on hand to showcase related material in the Event Space. The scope of the library collection reflects the strengths and variety of the Museums’ collections and Library staff can offer advice and support in locating items and using the collections. The Research Library is our main reading room on level 3 of the National Museum of Scotland.



The story of Culloden, the battle that ended Jacobitism and laid the way for the globally dominant Britain of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: how it was fought, how it has been remembered, and what it means for us today. 

Murray Pittock is Bradley Professor and Pro Vice-Principal at the University of Glasgow. He is one of the leading scholars of Jacobitism and Romanticism globally. His books include The Myth of the Jacobite Clans, Material Culture and Sedition, Poetry and Jacobite Politics, Jacobitism, Inventing and Resisting Britain, The Invention of Scotland, and many others. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and of the Royal Historical Society and has won or been nominated or shortlisted for fifteen literary prizes internationally. 


Panel discussion and audience Q&A chaired by Dr Fiona Watson


Final commentary and conclusion from Dr Fiona Watson


Event close and opportunity to view the exhibition

Exhibition entry to Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites is included in ticket price. Valid 28 October only.    

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Header image: Uniform of the Royal Company of Archers A.1993.62. 

Explore more

Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites

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

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.
Event information


28 Oct 2017
10:30 – 15:00 (doors open 10:00)


Auditorium, Level 1. Entry via Chambers Street.

How much

£30, £25 Members & Conc.

Includes exhibition entry. Valid 28 October only. 

Booking information

Age 18+

Book online or call 0300 123 6789

Book now
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