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The Prince of Wales and his entourage on camels posing for camera in front of Pyramid of Cheops and Pyramid of Cephrenes, Giza, Cairo. The Prince is seated on the camel fifth from the left. The man in the white suit with a cigar, gazing up at the Prince,

Modes of travel and travelling accessories used by monarchs past and present

Sir David Wilkie (1785-1841)

George IV (1762-1830) Signed and dated 1829

Oil on canvas | 279.4 x 179.1 cm (support, canvas/panel/str external) | RCIN 401206

Royal Dining Room, Palace of Holyroodhouse

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George IV became King in 1820 and in August 1822 was the first reigning monarch to visit Scotland since Charles II. Sir David Wilkie, who depicted his arrival (RCIN 401187), witnessed the event first-hand: ‘I saw the King alight; he had not much colour, but upon the whole was looking well. He was dressed in the field marshal’s uniform, with a green ribbon of the Order of the Thistle.' The Order of the Thistle is the greatest order of chivalry in Scotland, and the King wore the ribbon of the Order again two days later for his first levée at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Great pains were taken to devise appropriate Scottish attire for the King to wear at the event, and he is depicted in this portrait by Wilkie in the full Highland dress specially prepared for him. In addition to a royal Stewart tartan kilt, he carries a pair of Highland pistols, a Highland dirk, purse and powder-horn. His bonnet with a black cockade of three eagle's feathers reflects the traditional garb of a Highland chief.