WHAT is Glasgow’s relationship with the Crown?

Queen Victoria was a royal favourite in Glasgow, visiting on three momentous occasions in the city’s history.

But there have been plenty more royals visiting the city over the centuries.

Glasgow Times: The Queen at HampdenThe Queen at Hampden (Image: Glasgow City Archives)

The 12th century was an important milestone in Glasgow’s history as it became a burgh and a major episcopal centre, and the cathedral was founded.

It was David, Prince of Cumbria who, in 1115, re-established the Diocese of Glasgow. In about 1136, King David (as he became), and his Court were present at the consecration of the cathedral. He also worshipped at the St Mungo shrine. This cathedral was destroyed by fire  and succeeded by a larger one in 1197.

In 1617, the 50th anniversary of his accession to the throne, James VI and I, son of Mary, Queen of Scots, made his first return to Scotland since he became King of England in 1603. He arrived in Scotland in May 1617 with a great and distinguished retinue.

Glasgow Times:

He came to Glasgow on July 22, 1617, the actual anniversary of his accession to the English throne. The council presented him with a gilt cup in the form of a salmon, one of the symbols in Glasgow’s Coat of Arms.

We do not know where he lodged but it was probably in the Archbishop’s Palace or the old mansion of the Earl of Lennox at Stablegreen Port, which was close to the Archbishop’s Palace and the cathedral.

It was more than 200 years later when the next reigning monarch, Queen Victoria, came to Glasgow. In 1849, she visited Glasgow Cathedral and Glasgow University, then on High Street. More than 400,000 people were said to have lined the routes of her journey from the Trossachs to the city.

In 1859 she accepted the Council’s invite to turn on the city’s supply at Loch Katrine, providing citizens ‘with the supply of the purest water’.

Glasgow Times: Loch KatrineLoch Katrine (Image: Glasgow City Archives)

In 1888 Queen Victoria made her final visit, attending the International Exhibition in Kelvingrove Park. The visit coincided with the completion of Glasgow’s new municipal buildings and the Queen inaugurated the City Chambers during the same trip.

A city favourite, Glasgow marked the day of her funeral, February 2, 1901, with a procession from the City Chambers to the cathedral. Streets were draped with black and imperial purple mourning drapery.

Glasgow Times: George V at the City ChambersGeorge V at the City Chambers (Image: Glasgow City Archives)

The council advertised the arrangements for King Edward VII's coronation on June 26, 1902. Due to the king’s illness, all public holidays were cancelled.

Many had refrained from taking their annual holiday "doon the watter" so that they could take part in the festivities. They crowded the city streets despite the cancellation of the day’s parade and other official celebrations.

                           Glasgow Times: Empire ExhibitionEmpire Exhibition (Image: Glasgow City Archives)

The relatively short reign of Edward VII  and Queen Alexandra was followed by the much longer reign of George V and Queen Mary (1910 to 1936). It covered the period of World War I. George V was a frequent visitor in particular in support of Glasgow’s war effort.

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In July 1914, he and Queen Mary laid the foundation stone for the extension of the City Chambers and opened King George V Bridge. In 1917 he visited the munition and shipbuilding works on the Clyde.

On the same visit he attended Ibrox Stadium, which had a large audience of women war workers. At this event, Lizzie Robertson became the first women to be decorated by the King, receiving the Order of British Empire medal for devotion to duty at Cardonald Munitions Factory

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth succeeded Edward VIII after his abdication. Among their many visits, the couple visited the city in July 1937 and opened the Empire Exhibition in 1938.

Queen Elizabeth acceded to the throne in 1952, with the coronation on June 2, 1953. Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh visited the city in July and attended many celebratory events, including at Hampden Park.

The royal couple become regular visitors in the city, and on one trip launched the Empress of Britain.

Glasgow Times: The Queen preparing to launch the Empress of BritainThe Queen preparing to launch the Empress of Britain (Image: Glasgow City Archives)

In 2022, the then Prince Charles, now King Charles III, opened the newly refurbished Burrell Collection.