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Last Updated:  Monday, 24 March, 2003, 13:14 GMT
Royal union crowned by website
Union of the Crowns website
The 400th anniversary of the Union of the Crowns has been marked by the launch of a website and a mixture of history and high technology.

The crowns came together on 24 March, 1603, when Queen Elizabeth died and King James VI of Scotland also became King James I of England.

The website is intended as a learning resource and uses records provided by contributors around the UK.

Pupils at Balgreen Primary School in Edinburgh, dressed in period costumes, used laptops to log onto the site as it went live.

With all the other things going on in the world at the moment this is something that may have been overlooked
Jane Mawdsley
Acting head teacher

Illustrated essays, timelines and biographies of major figures of the time, including Mary Queen of Scots, are included to tell the story of the union.

Tourism and Culture Minister Mike Watson said: "The website is a fascinating learning resource that contains links to millions of documents from Scotland's museums and galleries."

The Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Eric Milligan, chairman of the Union of the Crowns Advisory Group, said the emphasis on the anniversary was on education.

"The projects we are unveiling will encourage people to learn about the history and culture of Scotland and its historical relationship with the rest of the United Kingdom," he added.

Art competition

Acting head teacher Jane Mawdsley said: "With all the other things going on in the world at the moment this is something that may have been overlooked.

"But it should not be because it deals with a very important historical event."

Schools across Scotland are being invited to design a crown, sword or sceptre for the coronation of a king or queen as part of an arts competition run by Historic Scotland.

Other events to commemorate the union include re-enactments at historic locations, exhibitions and a lecture series.

BBC Two Scotland is broadcasting a special programme looking at the legacy of King James and the Union of the Crowns at 9pm on Tuesday, 25 March.




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