Royal Connections at Durn House

Outside the Ogilvie Bar there is a very rare print of Queen Victoria. This print is rare, not just because it is original, but also because after Prince Albert’s death, Victoria only ever wore black. Yet, in this picture she is wearing a navy blue dress. In addition to this rare print of an older Queen Victoria, there is also an original oil-on-canvas painting of a young Victoria in the Great Hall above the fireplace.

The historical link between Durn House and Queen Victoria is that the 6th Baronet of Dunbar, (the family who built Durn House), was minister to Queen Victoria at Crathie, a nearby small village in Aberdeenshire. The Dunbar baronetcy was created in 1698, as the family had earlier been illegally earlier of the Earldom of Dunbar. In the 17th century, the Earl was President of a border commission for the eradication of banditry and, in 1609, had presided over the mass hanging at Dumfries which "purged the border of malefactors, robbers and brigands and established lasting peace."

The Dunbar family is descended from John, 1st Earl of Moray, who, in the 14th century, married the daughter of the first Stuart King of Scotland, Robert II, and was himself a descendant of the Anglo-Saxon King Ethelred II: "The Unready".