Douglas MacQueen's blog

Marjorie, Countess of Carrick and mother of Scottish King Robert the Bruce

Robert the Bruce, King Robert I of Scotland, was born on July 11, 1274 at Turnberry Castle into the Scottish nobility. He claimed the Scottish throne in 1306 as the fourth great-grandson of David I of Scotland.  As king he lived to see Scotland as an Independent Nation and reigned as the King of Scots until his death in 1329. Along with William Wallace, Robert the Bruce became a symbol of Scottish resistance to English domination.

Adding colour to Pictish carved stones

The Picts were a Celtic society of farmers and hunters and their beautiful artwork and carving can be found throughout the north and east of Scotland. As with the other Celtic peoples living along the Atlantic western coast of Europe, the evidence points to the Picts being direct descendants of the ancient people of pre-history from the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age who have always lived there. The Picts, however, have remained something of a mystery.

Glasgow Paddle Steamer Waverley celebrates 70 years since maiden voyage

The Paddle Steamer Waverley is close to Glaswegian hearts. Built on the Clyde she first entered service in June 1947 and is now the last sea-going paddle steamer in the world. Waverley is named after Scottish historical novelist, playwright and poet Sir Walter Scott’s first novel. She is powered by a triple-expansion marine steam engine. PS Waverley sailed from Craigendoran on the Firth of Clyde to Arrochar on Loch Long until 1973 when she was sadly withdrawn from service being seen at the time as too costly to operate by the then owners and was in need of significant repairs.

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2017 gets underway

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2017 opened today (21st June) in Scotland's capital and the film God's Own Country features at the opening night gala. The festival ends on 2nd July. Established in 1947, it is the world's oldest continually running film festival and shows a range of feature-length films, documentaries, short films, animations and music videos. Information about this years event are on the festival website.

Catalonia demands the right to decide its own future

Catalonia (Catalan: Catalunya ) is located on the northeastern extremity of the Iberian Peninsula and is designated as a nationality by its Statute of Autonomy. It has its own language, laws and customs. Carles Puigdemont is the current President of the Generalitat of Catalonia and is elected by the Parliament of Catalonia. Last Friday, he announced that an independence referendum is to be held on 1 October, in defiance of the Madrid government. The question to be voted on will be: "Do you want Catalonia to be an independent state in the form of a republic?"

Iconic painting The Monarch of the Glen to be displayed across Scotland

The 1851 oil-on-canvas painting of a red deer stag The Monarch of the Glen by Edwin Landseer has been described as encapsulating the majesty of Scotland’s highlands and wildlife. The painting is Landseer's best known work and depicts a ‘royal’ or twelve point stag, which is a reference to the number of points on its antlers.  The setting is said to have been in Glen Affric (Scottish Gaelic: Gleann Afraig), which is amongst the most beautiful in Scotland and located within the Highlands National Nature Reserve.

Feast Day of Saint Columba who battled with the Loch Ness Monster and brought Christianity to Scotland

Saint Columba (Irish: Colm Cille) was born on the 7 December 521 near Lough Gartan, which was part of Tyrconnell and now in modern County Donegal, in Ireland. Columba's father was Fedlimid and his mother Eithne of the Cenel Conaill. He was the great-great-grandson of Niall Noígíallach, Irish high king who reigned in the late 4th and early 5 centuries, and ancestor of the Uí Néill family who were dominant in Ireland from the 6th to the 10th century.

Items from Galloway Viking treasure hoard to go on display in Edinburgh next month

A selection of artefacts from a Viking treasure hoard uncovered in Galloway is to go on display at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh next month. Around 70 items from the Galloway Hoard will be able to be seen for the first time in an exhibition from 16 June to 1 October. Metal detectorist Derek McLennan, from Ayrshire, discovered the haul of Viking treasure in Galloway in 2014, after it had been buried for safekeeping 1,000 years ago. The value of the treasure runs to hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Scottish National Party launches 2017 UK General Election manifesto

Today (30 May 2017) the Scottish National Party (SNP) launched their manifesto for the 2017 UK General Election which takes place on June 8th. Some 1,400 people gathered in Perth for the launch of the manifesto 'Stronger For Scotland'. In it they set out their plan to end austerity, strengthen Scotland’s hand in Brexit negotiations and ensure the right for Scottish people to choose their own future. Leader of the SNP Nicola Sturgeon stated that now, more than ever, it is vital to have strong SNP voices standing up for Scotland.

Football returned to Aberdeen after floating 1100 miles to Norway

Aberdeen (Scottish Gaelic: Obar Dheathain) is a city in the north-east of Scotland. The island of Vanna is on the northern coast of Norway, about 1,118 miles (1800km) away. So it was with some surprise that a local Aberdeen football club got a message from Johnny Mikalsen, who is a shopkeeper in Vanna, saying that he had their football. The Banks o' Dee youth team can regularly see their footballs going over the fence of their ground and dropping over into the nearby River Dee. Once that happens it is just accepted that they are lost.


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