The Queen has had a close personal involvement with A Glamis Treasury which features contributions from many people with a connection to the angus castle, including the Strathmore family, members of staff, past and present, and the local community. Contributors were invited to choose a favourite item from the castle or estate and share its significance to them.
As the childhood home of HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, the Queen was a frequent visitor to Glamis, near Forfar, along with her sister HRH Princess Margaret who was born in the castle, for holidays when they were children.
For the book the Queen chose a photograph from 1931 of the Strathmore family in the castle’s drawing room celebrating the Golden Wedding anniversary of the Queen’s grandparents, Claude and Cecilia, the 14th Earl and Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne.
In the photograph, a five-year-old Princess Elizabeth can be seen in the front row holding a teddy bear. Princess Margaret is a babe in arms sitting on her mother’s knee with the Duke of York standing behind.
Compiled by Glamis Castle Archivist Ingrid Thomson, the book features objects ranging from photographs and paintings to furniture, gardens and animals. Each item celebrates the castle’s rich history through people’s personal experiences and memories.
The book was commissioned as part of the celebrations to mark the 650th anniversary of the granting of the Thanage of Glamis by King Robert II to Sir John Lyon in 1372. Its creation of the book has been a labour of love for Ingrid, who has been working on the project for two years.
She said: “The book features over 70 entries from a range of people with a strong connection to Glamis Castle. It was wonderful to receive Her Majesty The Queen’s favourite item from the castle. The photograph is a wonderful memory and really captures what the book is all about with many anecdotes and recollections featured throughout. The book offers a very special way to experience Glamis and its long history through a different telescope.”
Available to purchase in the Glamis Castle Pavilion Gift Shop, A Glamis Treasury is just one of a trio of celebrations to mark the 650th anniversary. The castle has created a special gin in collaboration with local distillers The Gin Bothy using botanical ingredients on the castle estate.
The castle – once visited by the ill-fated Mary Queen of Scots and James V – has also launched the Children of Glamis Exhibition celebrating the families and childhoods experienced at Glamis. The exhibit features childhood dresses and toys belonging to The Queen including her favourite Mickey and Minnie Mouse toys with both Disney characters dressed in wedding outfits by the princesses.
Glamis also has a darker side and is said to be inhabited by no less than three ghosts and visitors have commented on an ‘eerie feeling’ close to the rumoured location of a secret chamber where the Ogilvie clan chiefs were locked away and left to die in 1486 while fleeing rivals.
During the First World War, Glamis was turned into a convalescent home for wounded soldiers and the then Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, at the tender age of only 14, would write letters for injured soldiers and run errands from the local shops for them.
Glamis Castle is open to visitors until October 31, 2022 and Friends of Glamis annual passes are available giving families unlimited access for the entirety of the open season.