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Palace of Holyroodhouse marks 30 November with free admission

Release date: Thursday, 21 November 2013

The Palace of Holyroodhouse

The Palace of Holyroodhouse John Freeman

On 30 November, visitors to the Palace of Holyroodhouse and The Queen’s Gallery, Edinburgh can celebrate St Andrew's Day with free admission and a host of activities for all the family.

The Queen's official residence in Scotland, the Palace has been a royal residence for more than 500 years. Edinburgh-based artist Christopher Rutterford will bring back to life some of the Palace's most famous former residents – David I, Mary, Queen of Scots, Bonnie Prince Charlie, George IV and Queen Victoria. Visitors will be able to see the portraits receiving their final touches throughout the day, before they go on display in the Palace.

In the Palace's Royal Dining Room a Victorian festive table will be set with the porcelain dessert service ordered by Queen Victoria from Bloor Derby for Christmas in 1842.

Young visitors can take part in art activities and face painting or explore 17th-century fashion – from silk jackets and beautiful skirts, to giant ruffs and puffed-out trousers – and join a costume-handling session in front of portraits of famous Stuart kings in the Palace's Throne Room. At The Queen's Gallery, children can embark on a secret mission with an Art Spy Family Activity Bag to discover the work of the famous caricaturist, Thomas Rowlandson.

Malt-whisky tasters and the addressing of the haggis will take place at the Café at the Palace at 12:00, 12:30, 13:00 and 13:30. Visitors can get ahead with their Christmas shopping at the Royal Collection Trust shop, which will offer a 20% discount to visitors on St Andrew's Day.

Find out more about the exhibition High Spirits: The Art of Thomas Rowlandson at The Queen's Gallery.