Queen to open Abbotsford during visit to Scottish Borders


It has been confirmed that the Queen will officially open Abbotsford during her visit to the region on Wednesday, July 3.

The Royal visit will take place the day before the historic property re-opens to the public following a multi-million pound restoration.

Her Majesty will be given a tour of the house, which has been closed for almost two years, and will view the attraction’s new Visitor Centre where she will unveil a plaque commemorating the occasion.

The Queen will also be introduced to guests at the opening reception, including trustees and employees of The Abbotsford Trust, the trust’s funding partners and a number of Sir Walter Scott’s descendants from the UK and overseas.

Her Majesty has previously visited Abbotsford on a number of occasions and the property has played host to several other Royal visits including, in 1867, Queen Victoria, who is said to have regarded Scott as her favourite poet.

Dame Jean Maxwell Scott, the last of Scott’s descendants to live in the house, was Lady in Waiting to Princess Alice of Gloucester, who was a regular summer guest. Other Royal visitors have included King Edward VII, King George V and Queen Mary, as well as the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth) who visited in 1923. More recently, Abbotsford has welcomed HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, HRH The Princess Royal and HRH The Prince of Wales. The Abbotsford Trust’s Royal Patron, HRH The Duke of Gloucester, also visited last month.

Lord Sanderson, chairman of The Abbotsford Trust said: “The Abbotsford Trust is delighted that Her Majesty the Queen accepted our invitation to officially re-open this historic property. Abbotsford is one of the most famous houses in the world, built by a man whose cultural and literary legacy cannot be underestimated.

“We believe that Abbotsford is set to become both an important cultural centre and tourist destination for the Scottish Borders and are honoured that Her Majesty will be one of the first people to tour this rejuvenated attraction.”

Abbotsford will open to the public at 9am on Thursday, July 4.