Remembering the day Orkney and Shetland became part of Scotland as part of a Royal Wedding deal

On this day in 1472, Norway handed over Orkney and Shetland to Scotland in lieu of a dowry payment for a Royal Wedding.

Isle of Burray on Orkney. PIC: Richard Mechan/Pixabay
Isle of Burray on Orkney. PIC: Richard Mechan/Pixabay

Margaret of Denmark, the daughter of King Christian of Norway, Denmark and Sweden, wed James III of Scotland in a long standing arrangement aimed at quelling a tax-related feud between the powers.

As wedding preparations got underway, it was arranged for Orkney and Shetland to be held by the Scottish Crown and handed back when the impoverished Scandinavian King made a dowry payment of 50,000 Rhenish Florins.

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Immerse yourself in Orkney’s rich heritage

At the end of the first year of the marriage, the payment had not been made and more money was added to the pledge.

Two years later, King Christian had still not made the payment.

As a result, the Norse Earldom of Orkney and Lordship of Shetland annexed to the Scottish Crown, a process confirmed by Parliament on February 20 1472.

As the years passed, the Scottish influence over the islands grew.

But both islands retain a Scandinavian feel in part - with both still immensely proud of their Norse heritage.