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Toys of the future Queen come out to play in Glamis Castle 650th anniversary exhibition

The Children of Glamis display includes toys once owned by the future Queen Elizabeth. Pic: Paul Reid.
The Children of Glamis display includes toys once owned by the future Queen Elizabeth. Pic: Paul Reid.

Glamis primary pupils got a glimpse inside the toy chest of the young girl who would become Queen as part of a celebration of the Royal landmark on their doorstep.

The treat was part of a programme to mark the 650th anniversary of Glamis Castle.

And a new exhibition opened by local children features Mickey and Minnie Mouse characters Princess Elizabeth played with during visits to Angus in her early years.

Glamis Castle
Toys once owned by Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret feature in the Glamis exhibition. Pic: Paul Reid

Princess Margaret’s birthplace

Glamis was the childhood home of the late Queen Mother, whose father was the 14th Earl of Strathmore.

The castle retained a special place in her heart throughout her long life.

Princess Margaret arrived there on a stormy night in August 1930 – the first royal baby born in Scotland since 1600.

And she and older sister, Elizabeth, regularly visited Glamis growing up.

Glamis Castle
Childhood costumes feature in the new exhibition. Pic: Paul Reid

So as The Queen celebrates the platinum anniversary of her reign, castle bosses hope visitors will flock to Glamis to savour the rich royal history.

Items from the young princesses’ time there are expected to be a star attraction in the Children of Glamis exhibition.

It includes cartoon characters The Queen – known then as Lilibet in the Royal family – dressed up to play with.

An exquisite wooden rocking horse is another of the Bowes Lyon family heirlooms on show.

Glamis Castle
A young Princess Elizabeth, later to become Queen, with her favourite black mare, Betty, and groom, Mr Smith, at Glamis.

Glamis pupils’ artwork on display

The stunning exhibition unveiled by Glamis pupils on Tuesday also includes some of the young princesses’ outfits.

And the historic castle kitchen features the thoughts and drawings of Glamis pupils about what life would have been like in the 14th century.

Glamis primary school
Glamis primary pupils walked down to the castle. Pic: Paul Reid.

Castle general manager Helen Buchanan says the community link is a special element of the 650th anniversary celebrations.

“Collaborating with the children from our local primary school is such a wonderful way to celebrate the official opening of our Children of Glamis exhibition,” said Helen.

“Children have always been such an integral part of Glamis Castle’s history and we are excited to be able to share many stories through the exhibition.”

Glamis Castle
Toy soldiers on parade in the Glamis Castle display. Pic: Paul Reid.

Thanage granted by King Robert II

The Thanage of Glamis was granted by King Robert II to Sir John Lyon for services to the crown in 1372.

Since then, Glamis Castle has been home to the ancestral seat for the Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorne.

Glamis primary school
Glamis pupils’ artwork is on display in the castle kitchen. Pic: Paul Reid.

Other anniversary celebrations include the release of A Glamis Treasury.

The commemorative book features contributions from The Queen, the Strathmore family, local community and past and present castle staff.

They were invited to choose a favourite item from the castle or estate and share its significance to them.

Glamis Castle
A Strathmore family rocking horse is on show. Pic: Paul Reid

And the castle has launched a bespoke handcrafted gin in collaboration with The Gin Bothy.

Just 650 bottles of The Glamis Castle 650th Anniversary Small Batch Gin have been produced.

It uses ingredients sourced in the castle’s walled garden including juniper, chestnut, rosemary, cicely and verbena.

The castle is now open for the visitor season until the end of October.

Rarely seen royal robes loaned to Queen Mother’s Glamis Castle childhood home for coronation exhibition

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