This major new exhibition will tell the real story of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the rise and fall of the Jacobites.

The Jacobite legend has an enduring fascination and now renewed global interest due to the Outlander books and television series. Drawing on a rich wealth of material, the exhibition will tell a compelling story of love, loss, exile, rebellion and retribution and will challenge many of the misconceptions that still surround this turbulent period in European history.

  • Louis Gabriel Blanchet, Prince Charles Edward Stuart, 1739. Image: Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017.

    Louis Gabriel Blanchet, Prince Charles Edward Stuart, 1739. Image: Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017.
  • Portrait of Prince Charles Edward Stewart (detail from a miniature, watercolour on bone, artist and date unknown).

    Portrait of Prince Charles Edward Stewart (detail from a miniature, watercolour on bone, artist and date unknown).
  • The inscription on this broadsword shows support for James ‘VIII’, the son of the deposed King James VII and father of Bonnie Prince Charlie

    The inscription on this broadsword shows support for James ‘VIII’, the son of the deposed King James VII and father of Bonnie Prince Charlie
  • This targe, or shield, was presented to Prince Charles before Culloden, but abandoned when the Prince fled the field after the Jacobites were defeated.

    This targe, or shield, was presented to Prince Charles before Culloden, but abandoned when the Prince fled the field after the Jacobites were defeated.
  • Bonnie Prince Charlie brought this elaborate set of travelling cutlery and two wine beakers with him to Scotland in 1745.

    Bonnie Prince Charlie brought this elaborate set of travelling cutlery and two wine beakers with him to Scotland in 1745.
  • Wine glass featuring a picture of Bonnie Prince Charlie.

    Wine glass featuring a picture of Bonnie Prince Charlie.
  • Backsword presented to Bonnie Prince Charlie by James, 3rd Duke of Perth, c.1740.

    Backsword presented to Bonnie Prince Charlie by James, 3rd Duke of Perth, c.1740.
  • Embroidered mitre cap bearing the cypher of William and Mary flanked by thistles c.1690.

    Embroidered mitre cap bearing the cypher of William and Mary flanked by thistles c.1690.


In the summer of 1745 Charles Edward Louis John Casimir Sylvester Severino Maria Stuart landed on the Isle of Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. Better known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, he would be the Jacobite Stuart’s last hope in the fight to regain the three kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland.

The Stuart dynasty had ruled Scotland since 1371. In 1603 they inherited the three kingdoms. Their reign lasted until 1714 but during that time religious and political instability led to civil war, rebellion and exile; by 1688 the dynasty had fractured in two.

The deposed Catholic monarch, James VII and II, went into exile and his Protestant daughter, Mary, and her Dutch husband, William of Orange, accepted the crown. James, his heirs and their supporters known as Jacobites made five attempts to regain the English, Scottish and Irish thrones. The fifth and final attempt was made by James’s grandson, Prince Charles Edward Stuart. Despite a catastrophic defeat at the hands of government troops at Culloden, the legend of Bonnie Prince Charlie has driven the Jacobite story for centuries.

Featuring exceptional material from our own Scottish collections and spectacular treasures from across the UK and France, the exhibition reveals who the Jacobites were and explores the cause that drove their campaigns.

#Jacobites

Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites is sponsored by

Baillie Gifford

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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.
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Exhibition information

When

23 Jun - 12 Nov 2017

Where

Exhibition gallery 1, Level 3

How much

Adult £10
Concession* £8
Child (12–15) £7 (under 12s free)
Members: free
National Art Pass holders: 50% discount

* 60+, students with valid NUS or Young Scot card, unemployed with ID, disabled people. Carers of disabled people free.

All tickets include a discretionary donation. If you do not wish to make a charitable donation the admission prices are: Adult £9, Concession £7.20, Child £6.30. Tickets are subject to a transaction booking fee and postal costs.

Booking information

Book in person, by calling 0300 123 6789, or book online.

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