The Palace Today
The Queen is in residence at the Palace of Holyroodhouse during Holyrood week, which usually takes place from the end of June to the beginning of July. Then the Scottish variant of the Royal Standard of the United Kingdom is flown, and the Royal Company of Archers forms Her Majesty's ceremonial bodyguard.
At the start of The Queen’s visit, the Palace forecourt is transformed into a crowded and colourful parade ground, where 700 guests stand to watch the enactment of an ancient ceremony, the Presentation of the Keys of the City of Edinburgh. On her arrival in the forecourt, The Queen is presented with a red-velvet cushion, on which rests the great key of the city. It is handed to The Queen by the Lord Provost, who welcomes Her Majesty formally and pledges her the city’s loyalty. Her Majesty then hands back the key for safekeeping.
The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh entertain around 8,000 guests from all walks of Scottish life during Holyrood week. Her Majesty holds Investitures in the Great Gallery, audiences in the Morning Drawing Room and a Garden Party. The Queen also carries out a wide range of official engagements elsewhere in Scotland.
The Queen received His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI at Holyroodhouse during The Pope’s official visit to the UK in September 2010. The gift presented by His Holiness to Her Majesty, a facsimile of the Lorsch Gospels, is on display at the Palace.
Prince Charles resides at Holyroodhouse for one week a year, carrying out official duties as The Duke of Rothesay.
The Royal Family stayed at Holyroodhouse at the time of the wedding of Zara Phillips, The Queen’s granddaughter, to Mike Tindall in Canongate Kirk on 30 July 2011.
Currently there are no events for the Palace of Holyrood House Edinburgh .
Manual wheelchairs are available to borrow free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis for the duration of a visit. Mobility scooters can be used in the Palace grounds, but not inside the building.
There are 27 steps in the Great Staircase. Visitors who require step-free access should speak to a Warden on duty.
There is no wheelchair access to Mary, Queen of Scots’ Chambers, which are accessed via a steep spiral staircase consisting of 25 steps.
A virtual tour is available using the e-Gallery computer terminal, located just off the Great Gallery. Lifts The lift measures 108cm in depth by 107cm in width.
Flooring & Surfaces
The floors inside the State Apartments are either wooden or carpeted with thick pile carpet.
The floor in the Abbey has gravel chippings.
As the Palace is an historic building, the floors may be uneven and visitors should take care.
Respite seating Benches are available in the Forecourt and the Abbey Yard, during the summer months, and in the State Apartments all year round.
There are café facilities at the Café at the Palace in the Mews Courtyard.
Assistance dogs are welcome and water is available on request.
The shop is located opposite the Café and next to the entrance to The Queen’s Gallery. The shop is on one level with wooden flooring.
Accessible lavatories are located in the Mews Courtyard, opposite the café, and in The Queen’s Gallery.
Parking & Transport
The nearest disabled parking bays are located on Horse Wynd, just outside the Palace. When possible, the Palace of Holyroodhouse will offer parking for visitors with disabilities. To enquire about parking, please telephone 0131 524 1120. For further information please see how to get there.
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