Mary Queen of Scots bones wanted

A Scottish MP has called for Mary Queen of Scots’ remains to be returned to Scotland.

The Catholic monarch’s body currently lies at London’s Westminster Abbey, where it has been since shortly after her execution on the orders of her cousin Elizabeth in 1587, but now South of Scotland MSP Christine Grahame is to announce a motion in the Scottish Parliament demanding the return of the body to the place Mary “spent her happiest days.”

Christine said: “Mary Queen of Scots was an iconic historical Scots figure and ultimately the victim of English plotting.

“Given the House of Stuart’s association with Falkland Palace, a place where Mary is believed to have spent her happiest days, that would appear to be an appropriate place to inter her remains.”

Composer James MacMillan and Lib Dem MSP Hugh O’Donnell also back the campaign, with Christine also planning to write to culture minister Linda Fabiani urging the Scottish Government to offer its support.

A spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland said: “Mary Queen of Scots is undoubtedly held in very great and affectionate esteem by Scots Catholics who admire her religious devotion and fidelity to the church.

“As such, there would be significant interest among many Catholics in any plan to repatriate her remains.”

A spokesman for Westminster Abbey said: “The body of Mary Queen of Scots was brought to the Abbey on the express instructions of her son, in order that ‘honour be done to the body of his dearest mother’. That is a responsibility which the abbey takes very seriously, and the body has remained in our care ever since.”