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Posthumous portrait of Mary Queen of Scots

The chambers at Holyrood are filled with items associated with Mary

Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-87)

Embroidery 1569-84

Silk on canvas | 40.5 x 40.5 cm | RCIN 28223

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Mary, Queen of Scots created this embroidered panel during her custody in England under George, Earl of Shrewsbury (1528–90). She was initially on good terms with Shrewsbury’s wife, Elizabeth (known as 'Bess of Hardwick'; c.1527–1608), and during this time they planned embroidery works together. They discussed the designs for small panels of canvas and worked in cross stitch with coloured silks on a rectangular frame. This piece includes an interlaced monogram (possibly of Francis II of France) flanked by the Lily of France and Thistle of Scotland surmounted by Royal crown.