Royal visit The Princess Royal attended a service to mark the beginning of the Abbey’s 850th Anniversary Year. She is pictured with Rev Alan Birss

Paisley is fast becoming The Princess Royal’s favourite Scottish town – with a visit to the historic abbey and university in her diary for next month. Princess Anne is no stranger to the town and she is planning to visit Paisley Abbey on Friday, February 12, before heading along to the University of the West of Scotland.

Paisley is fast becoming The Princess Royal’s favourite Scottish town – with a visit to the historic abbey and university in her diary for next month.

Royal visit The Princess Royal attended a service to mark the beginning of the Abbey's 850th Anniversary Year. She is pictured with Rev Alan Birss Photo (C) GETTY IMAGES
Royal visit The Princess Royal attended a service to mark the beginning of the Abbey’s 850th Anniversary Year. She is pictured with Rev Alan Birss Photo (C) GETTY IMAGES

Princess Anne is no stranger to the town and she is planning to visit Paisley Abbey on Friday, February 12, before heading along to the University of the West of Scotland.

Previous visits in recent years have included one in 2013 when she attended the Royal National Mòd at Paisley Town Hall, and in October 2012 when she gave a reading at the abbey to help celebrate the historic church’s 850th anniversary year.

The Princess Royal will be at the abbey to mark the 700th anniversary of the birth of her ancestor King Robert II.

Princess Anne is the hardest working royal with 544 engagements under her belt for 2015. She also manages to combine business with pleasure
Princess Anne is the hardest working royal with 544 engagements under her belt for 2015. She also manages to combine business with pleasure

Yesterday Minister of the abbey, the Reverend Alan Birss, told us: “We are very, very pleased and are looking forward to the visit. There will be a service on the day.

“We are also hoping to have a year of events, including a concert, a medieval fair and a conference, to mark the this anniversary.”

The abbey’s deep history is linked to the current royal family and it was founded when Walter Fitzalan, the High Steward of Scotland, signed a charter at Fotheringay for the founding of a Cluniac monastery on land he owned.

Thirteen monks came from Much Wenlock, in Shropshire, to set up the priory on the site of an old Celtic church founded by St Mirin in the 6th century.

Princess Anne, dressed in a sixties-inspired yellow coat with frogging, arrives in Sydney in 1970 at the Royal Easter Show, one of many visits by the royal family to the show where the crowds
Princess Anne, dressed in a sixties-inspired yellow coat with frogging, arrives in Sydney in 1970 at the Royal Easter Show, one of many visits by the royal family to the show where the crowds

In 1245, the priory was raised to the status of an abbey , answerable only to the Pope in Rome, and it was dedicated to St Mary, St James, St Mirin – who first brought Christianity to Paisley – and St Milburga, who was the local saint of Wenlock.

Under royal patronage, the abbey became wealthy and influential and was also a centre of learning. It is believed that William Wallace was educated by the monks there.

Walter, who was the sixth High Steward, married Marjory Bruce in 1315.

She was the daughter of the famous Scottish king Robert the Bruce, who defeated an English army at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.

Tragically, Marjory died at the abbey in 1316, following a riding accident nearby, but the baby in her womb was saved and he became King Robert II of Scotland – the first of the Stewart monarchs.

For that reason, the abbey claims to be the “cradle of the Royal House of Stewart” and our present Queen is descended from him, as he is her 17th great-grandfather.

The abbey is the final resting place of six High Stewards of Scotland, as well as Princess Marjory Bruce and the wives of King Robert II and King Robert III.

29/06/2015 Photo (C) JOHN ALLEN Official opening of the Genesis Building at The Millfields Trust by HRH The Princess Royal
29/06/2015 Photo (C) JOHN ALLEN
Official opening of the Genesis Building at The Millfields Trust by HRH The Princess Royal

The official website of The British Monarchy says: “The Princess Royal will visit the newly renovated facilities at the Paisley Campus, University of the West of Scotland, Paisley, Renfrewshire” and confirms that she “will attend a Service to mark the 700th anniversary of the birth of King Robert II at Paisley Abbey, Abbey Close, Paisley, Renfrewshire.”

Source: dailyrecord co uk

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