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Backsword (detail) presented to Prince Charles Edward Stuart by James, 3rd Duke of Perth c. 1740. — Pictures courtesy of National Museums ScotlandBacksword (detail) presented to Prince Charles Edward Stuart by James, 3rd Duke of Perth c. 1740. — Pictures courtesy of National Museums ScotlandEDINBURGH, June 19 — An exhibition opening this month at National Museum Scotland will tell the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites, a subject of romantic fascination in literature, TV and film, while leading visitors on a country-wide trail to delve further into the history of the Jacobites.

The major exhibition — which the museum says is the largest show devoted to the Jacobites in more than 70 years — will feature 300 paintings, costumes, documents, weapons, books and objects owned by the exiled Jacobite kings.

Movement of a pocket watch dug up in a field near Prestonpans, made by I Moncrief of London, late 17th-early 18th century. Movement of a pocket watch dug up in a field near Prestonpans, made by I Moncrief of London, late 17th-early 18th century. The Jacobites were supporters of a movement in 1600s and 1700s Scotland to reinstate the exiled Roman Catholic Stuart king James VII & II and his heirs to the throne. As the king spent the rest of his days in exile in France, his baby son and heir was smuggled out of the country and later became James VII & II to those loyal to the exiled family.

The new king married a Polish princess, and their son, Charles Edward Stuart, became known as Bonnie Prince Charlie and made the last of five Jacobite challenges for the throne, which came to a bloody end at Culloden.

The story of Bonnie Prince Charlie was immortalized in Sir Walter Scott’s novel Waverly, and interest in the Jacobites has been piqued by Diana Gabaldon’s time-traveling Outlander book series and the TV series it inspired.

Tabard or herald’s coat, Scottish, early 18th century. Tabard or herald’s coat, Scottish, early 18th century. The museum show will tell the full story of the Jacobites, which spans two centuries and encompasses Britain, Ireland and continental Europe, featuring objects that were recovered from the baggage train at Culloden, including the battle plan and weapons from fallen soldiers.

Focusing on the lives of the Jacobites in exile in Saint Germain, France, and later in Rome, it will include symbolic objects including a shield, sword and canteen carrying secret signs and insignias that denoted those loyal to the Stuart kings.

Bonnie Prince Charlie’s short time in Scotland forms one of the largest sections of the exhibition, with court costumes and portraits among the displayed items. A famous portrait of the prince depicting a scene from Waverly, by John Pettie, will open the museum show.

Targe possibly used by Macdonald of Keppoch at Culloden.Targe possibly used by Macdonald of Keppoch at Culloden.Accompanying the exhibition, a Scotland-wide trail map has been created that leads visitors to 26 famous Jacobite sites. Find it at: www.jacobitetrail.co.uk.

The exhibition runs June 23 to November 12. Find out more at: www.nms.ac.uk/jacobites. — AFP-Relaxnews

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