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Junior Warden Challenge 8: The Queen

Illustration of Palace wardens

Holly and Rudy ©

Welcome to the final challenge of the Junior Warden Challenge!

The Palace of Holyroodhouse is The Queen’s official home in Scotland.

One of the things that makes the Palace so special is the fact that it is still used by royalty today. Members of the Royal Family visit all year round.

The biggest event of the year, when The Queen visits in July, is called Royal Week.

For our final challenge we are going to discover what happens when Her Majesty The Queen stays at the Palace.

Photograph of Ceremony of the Keys

Ceremony of the Keys ©


Royal Week is full of activity!

The Queen hosts many events, including private meetings with one or two people, banquets for more than a hundred guests, and even a party for thousands of people!

At the start of her visit, the area outside the front of the Palace is transformed into a crowded and colourful parade ground.

Soldiers march, a brass band plays and 700 guests watch as The Queen is handed the official key to Edinburgh during an ancient ceremony called the Ceremony of the Keys.


Fountain at Palace of Holyroodhouse

Fountain at Palace of Holyroodhouse ©

Normally the Lion Rampant of Scotland flag flies above the Palace, but when The Queen arrives, her flag, The Royal Standard, is hoisted high above the Palace roof.

The Royal Standard has two Scottish red lions on it – the red lion is an ancient symbol of Scotland.

There are other clues that tell visitors The Queen is at home: soldiers stand in guard boxes outside the entrance to the Palace and the grand fountain in the forecourt is turned on.

Audience with The Queen

Audience with The Queen ©



During Royal Week The Queen holds Audiences (meetings) with many people including the First Minister of the Scottish Parliament.

She also hosts a very special awards ceremony, called an Investiture.

During this ceremony The Queen awards people with medals for doing good work for their community or in their job.

Some people are even knighted.

When someone is granted a knighthood they must kneel before The Queen, while she touches their shoulder with a ceremonial sword.


The Queen and Prince Philip at a Garden Party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse



The biggest event of the week is the annual Garden Party.

The Palace garden is filled with people.

The National Anthem is played as The Queen enters the garden to meet her guests.

8,000 guests are invited, so a lot of food has to be prepared!

Can you help the Palace staff prepare for The Queen’s Garden Party?

Click the link below to try our interactive game.

Prepare for a Garden Party (this game requires the latest browser).

Challenge 1: Guess the mystery object

Lorsch Gospel



Each challenge we are going to show you a mystery object linked to the person we’ve been learning about. Can you solve the riddle and work out what it is?

I travelled from Italy to Scotland

To be given by the Pope to The Queen

I contain writing in a different language

And beautiful pictures in red, blue and green.

What am I?


Challenge 2: Design a Coat of Arms

Illustration of Palace warden


Did you get the answer to last challenge's mystery object challenge? Leonardo drew the wings of a bird to understand how they fly.


Congratulations, you have completed the Junior Warden Challenge!

You are now an expert on the history of the Palace. We hope you will come and visit soon!

To receive your Junior Warden Certificate, and find out the answer to the last mystery object challenge, ask your parent, carer or teacher to email your name to [email protected]