Home Lifestyle Holyroodhouse Palace: Inside Queen’s Edinburgh home and how to visit

Holyroodhouse Palace: Inside Queen’s Edinburgh home and how to visit

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Kate Middleton and William arrive at Palace of Holyroodhouse

Founded as a monastery in 1128 at the end of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, the Palace of Holyroodhouse is used for national celebrations and events in Scotland, most notably The Queen’s ‘Holyrood Week’ which usually runs from the end of June to the beginning of July every year. There are also a few weekends a year when the Palace is closed and after its doors were open to the public earlier this week, here’s what to expect for any visitors planning a trip inside the lavish building.

Holyroodhouse Palace Queen

Holyroodhouse Palace: Inside Queen’s Edinburgh home and how to visit (Image: GETTY)

Where is the Palace of Holyroodhouse and how much is it worth? 

The Palace of Holyroodhouse sits at the tip of the Royal Mile, the Scottish capitals most famous street. 

Less than a 20 minute walk away, on the other end of the street is where you would find Edinburgh castle, an 11th-century fortress with some breathtaking views of the city. 

The value of the Palace of Holyroodhouse remains unknown and because it is an official royal residence, it is unlikely to go on the market anytime soon. 

To put its value into context, the Royal Family’s real estate net worth is estimated to be around  $18 billion with Buckingham Palace worth about $5 billion. 

The Palace of Holyroodhouse

The Palace of Holyroodhouse was founded as a monastery in 1128 (Image: GETTY)

Holyrood Abbey 

Standing next to the Palace of Holyroodhouse is the remains of the 12th-century Holyrood Abbey, one of the greatest medieval abbeys in Scotland. 

Over centuries, the Abbey was enlarged and today, the surviving roofless nave, Romanesque arcading and Gothic windows can still be seen. 

There is also a Royal Valut which contains the remains of James V. 

For those interested in learning more about the Abbey’s history, there are daily tours led by Palace Wardens. 

zara mike tindall wedding holyroodhouse

Zara, the eldest granddaughter of the Queen married Mike in the Abbey on July 30, 2011 (Image: GETTY)

State Apartments 

The State Apartments are famous for their beautiful plasterwork ceilings and collection of French and Flemish tapestries. 

The rooms are a true reflection of the changing tastes of successive monarchs.

Walking through the Palace, visitors will see how the rooms become progressively grander with the King’s Bedchamber being the grandest rom of all. 

The King’s Bedchamber is where historically, only the most important guests would have been granted an audience. 

Inside the Bedchamber, there is the State Bed which has been at the Palace since at least 1684. 

While it wasn’t the King’s original bed, it was made for the Duke of Hamilton, the Hereditary Keeper of the Palace. 

Sometime in the 1970s, the bed was restored and rehung with red damask to match the original fabric.

There is also a Chinese blue and white bowl on a side board to note. 

This porcelain item was made in China between 1680 and 1700 and was presented to King George V and Queen Mary for Holyroodhouse in 1917. 

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The Great Gallery 

The largest room in the Palace, the Great Gallery is hung with portraits of real and legendary Kings of Scotland. 

There were originally 111 portraits but many were damaged in 1746 by Government troops after defeat at the battle of Falkirk.

Those visiting should look closely at the artwork to see the marks made by the swords. 

As for what the Great Gallery is used for today, The Queen holds State Banquets, dinners and receptions there. 

And every year, an Investiture takes place in the room where Her Majesty honours people who have given outstanding service to their profession or community. 

As for the interiors, the room has crimson red carpets with an ornate pattern, sage green walls and an intricately carved out ceiling.

There are heavy pieces of chestnut furniture on the outskirts and three chandeliers with candelabras hanging from the ceiling. 

Throne Room 

The ThroneRoom is another grand area within the Palace. 

Its main use is for receptions and other State occasions. 

The centrepiece of the room is a pair of thrones that were commissioned by King George V in 1911. 

With dark wooden floors only visible around the edge of the room, the floor is covered by a bright red carpet. 

The walls are panelled in wood and there are several paintings adorning the walls.

Fresh flowers are laid out to make the room inviting to guests and there are several perches dotted around the edge for those wishing to sit. 

Holyroodhouse Throne Room

The Queen in the Throne Room (Image: GETTY)

The Royal Dining Room 

The Royal Dining Room was originally the guard chamber at the beginning of the Queen’s Apartments.

It was first used as a dining room towards the end of Queen Victoria’s reign and continues to this day. 

The paintings in this room include a portrait by Sir David Wilkie of George IV in Highland dress and Hayter’s state portrait of Queen Victoria. 

Adoring the long dining table is a set of porcelain and silverware laid out. 

The porcelain, made by Bloor Denby was ordered by Queen Victoria and the service was exhibited in 1842 during Christmas week. 

As for the decor, it boasts pale green walls and white pillars. 

A red rug lies in the centre of the room with an ornate pattern in the middle and around the outside.

Holyroodhouse The Palace Gardens

The Palace Gardens consist of four hectares with uninterrupted views towards the Queen’s Park (Image: GETTY)

Palace Gardens 

The Palace Gardens consist of four hectares with uninterrupted views towards the Queen’s Park, also known as Holyrood Park. 

They are set against the dramatic backdrop of Arthur’s Seat and during the summer they provide an array of colours. 

King George V and Queen Mary held the first garden party in the grounds of Holyroodhouse and the tradition has been maintained to the present day.

Each year, The Queen hosts her annual Garden Party at the Palace and entertain around 8,000 guests from all walks of Scottish life during Holyrood week.

When visiting Holyroodhouse Palace, there is the opportunity to have a guided tour around the Gardens and visitors will be taken off the public garden path to see the Jubilee Border, sundial, and ha-ha (a deep trench at the edge of the garden which acts as a barrier without breaking the line of sight across Holyrood Park and Salisbury Crags). 

royal residencies

Other royal residencies (Image: EXPRESS)

How to visit the Palace of Holyroodhouse? 

With Holyrood Week over for 2021, visitors take taken in the Palace’s grandeur at their leisure. 

Tickets cost £16.50 for adults and include a multimedia guide that allows visitors to explore the attraction at their own pace. 

There is also a dog-friendly courtyard café that serves locally sourced soups, salad, and sandwiches. 



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