Saturday, 4 March 2017

Spirit of Scotland

This weekend the Spirit of Scotland festival comes to the EUR district of Rome but the Eternal City also has another connection to that particular country.

In 1719 Pope Clement XI provided a residence in Rome for the exiled Stuart family, whom the Papacy recognised as the true heirs of the English throne

At Palazzo Muti on Piazza Santi Apostoli, James Edward Stuart (known as the 'Old Pretender') and his Polish bride, Maria Clementina Sobieska, held court. It was here too that Maria gave birth to her sons, Charles Edward Stuart ( Bonnie Prince Charlie) & Prince Henry Benedict, who became Cardinal Duke of York and was the last of the Stuarts.
The walls of this palace must hold many sad memories of hopes dashed & dreams destroyed, of battles won & lost.

The Stuarts are buried in the grottoes of St Peters Basilica. A monument by Canova was erected above their final resting place,

On the monument are busts of the 'Old Pretender' & 'Bonnie Prince Charlie' in armour, and Henry in his cardinals robes.

The two angels on the monument hold reversed torches which convey something of the tragedy of the family above.

On the wall opposite, a portrait of Maria Clementina Sobieska looks down from her monument to that of her huband & sons. Maria died of tuberculosis at the age of 33.

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