Chapel Royal

In the chapel you are standing where kings and queens have gathered, and it remains a sacred place where the spirit of Falkland can be found.

The Chapel Royal is the only room in the Palace where you can see original 16th- and 17th-century details; it is the heart of the Royal residence. A wooden screen and ceiling date from c.1540, when the chapel was completed. Mary, Queen of Scots’ father, James V, died at Falkland Palace at the youthful age of 30. The chapel was draped in black and his body laid in state for a month, over Christmas and New Year of 1542–53.

The chapel holds layers of history. Looking up you will see a 17th-century ceiling originally painted for Charles I and restored by the Marquis of Bute. Bute also added the stained glass windows in the 1890s, which display the heraldic badges of Scottish kings and queens associated with Falkland Palace.

After two and a half centuries of disuse, the chapel was reconsecrated in 1906. The Dowager Marchioness of Bute and her son, Lord Ninian Stuart, commissioned an Arts and Crafts altar and brought a great deal of furnishings from the House of Falkland, their home at the other end of the high street.

In the mid-20th century wooden panelling was added to the walls, new lamps were added to represent the 12 apostles, and kneelers were made especially for the chapel.