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.


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

In partnership with Royal Collection Trust.

Macro alias: InPageCarousel



At the Auditorium, level 1, the National Museum of Scotland. Entry via Chambers Street.


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 South Hall. 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 Stuart Court in France and Italy

An analysis of the Jacobite Court in exile – re-assessing its importance and highlighting the significance of Stuart relations with the European monarchy and the Papacy. This talk will also explore how the court came to an end – and how it has since been misrepresented.         

Edward Corp was Professor of British History at the University of Toulouse until 2011 and since then has been Emeritus Professor. Edward curated The King over the Water, a major exhibition on the exiled Stuart Court at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in 2001 and wrote the associated publication The King over the Water: Portraits of the Stuarts in Exile after 1689 (National Galleries of Scotland, 2001). He has also written a three-volume history of the Stuart Court in exile: A Court in Exile: The Stuarts in France, 1689 – 1718; The Jacobites at Urbino: An Exiled Court in Transition and The Stuarts in Italy, 1719 – 1766: A Royal Court in Permanent Exile.


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.    

Macro alias: Insertiframe

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
Back to top