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The Banqueting Hall

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The Palace, when the Sovereign is not in residence, is open to visitors, who proceed by way of a staircase in the old wing to the Picture Gallery, or Banqueting Hall, in which hang portraits of the Scottish kings. These were painted by a Dutchman, De Witt, on contract for 120 per annum (a considerable sum of money at the time), and the whole were completed in two years.

The paintings have little artistic merit or historical accuracy; in contrast to these, however, there are the four panels taken from the altarpiece of the Trinity Church, now demolished. The panels, painted by the fifteenth - century Flemish artist, Van der Goes, represent The Trinity, James III. and his son, Margaret, his Queen, and Sir Edward Bonkil, Provost of the Church.

In this room is exhibited the fifteenth-century Service Book of the Abbey known as the Holyrood Ordinale. Here is the scene of the Ball given by "Bonnie Prince Charlie" in 1745, and so graphically described in Sir Walter Scott's Waverley.