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The Royal Visit in 1822 was the first by a reigning monarch to Scotland in nearly two centuries and Museum & Galleries Edinburgh has planned a series of exhibitions and talks as well as a display of iconic paintings.
Curators will be photographing and cataloguing a range of objects on Saturday and Sunday, including silver medals and candle holders from the Royal Visit, and members of the public can drop in, 10am-4pm, to see the objects up close and ask the team about their work.
George IV’s visit was orchestrated by Sir Walter Scott and used public ceremonies, dress, objects and pamphlets to embed the king in Scottish minds as the legitimate heir to Scotland’s national past.
In preparation for the visit, streets were redirected and resurfaced to enable a stately procession. “Unsightly” buildings were knocked down and removed, or else covered by decorative screens and archways in order to make the most imposing scene for the King and spectators.
Events to mark the anniversary include a display of pottery from the Alastair Leslie collection related to the visit at the Museum of Edinburgh in July; the display of a large painting of the Landing of the King at Leith at the museum in August; and a lecture at the City Art Centre by historian Eric Melvin on August 22 at 2pm, discussing the excitement in Edinburgh 200 years ago.