Page last updated at 17:54 GMT, Sunday, 12 October 2008 18:54 UK

Queen Mary's body 'should return'

Mary Queen of Scots (pic: Hulton Archive)
Mary fled to England after being forced to abdicate

A Nationalist MSP has called for the remains of Mary Queen of Scots to be returned to Scotland.

The Catholic monarch's body has lain at Westminster Abbey in London since shortly after she was executed on the orders of her cousin Elizabeth in 1587.

South of Scotland MSP Christine Grahame is to make a motion to the Scottish Parliament later this week demanding the body be repatriated.

Composer James MacMillan and Lib Dem MSP Hugh O'Donnell backed the call.

Ms Grahame also plans to write to culture minister Linda Fabiani urging the Scottish Government to support the campaign.

"She [Mary Queen of Scots] was an iconic historical Scots figure and ultimately the victim of English plotting," Ms Grahame 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
Catholic Church in Scotland spokesman

"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."

Mary fled to England after being forced to abdicate in 1567.

She was held prisoner by Elizabeth I, found guilty of treason and executed at Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire 20 years later.

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."

Westminster Abbey said the body of Mary Queen of Scots was taken there at the "express instructions" of her son, and it takes its responsibility very seriously.


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