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18 November 2014
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COAST
King's Landing
In August, 1822, King George IV landed where you're standing - the first visit from a monarch for nearly 200 years

Government ministers had pressed the King to bring forward a proposed visit to Scotland, to divert him King from diplomatic intrigue at the Congress of the Nations in Vienna.

Despite the unkind caricature by some of the king as "our fat friend in tights and a kilt" - the visit was a great success - there was a marked increase in goodwill towards the crown and between fellow Scots - and the kilt - banned in Scotland by the government after the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, was, for the first time, developed as the national dress of Scotland.

George IV, as depicted in a caricature from the time

This was then the starting point of the 'tartanification' of Scottish culture, assiduously cultivated by Walter Scott at the time to try and improve the monarch's image North of the Border.

Sir David Wilkie painted a flattering portrait of the visit, in which the King's pink tights are replaced by some altogether more manly bare knees. But perhaps the caricature (opposite) represents a more accurate reflection of the day.

Directions: From the plaque make your way further along the Shore past the ship on your left and past the Shore Bar on your right. Across the courtyard by Malmasion Hotel is a bench with a statue of a man sitting down and a harpoon in the corner.

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