Scottish MP calls for return of Mary Queen of Scots' body

 Scottish Nationalist MSP Christine Grahame has launched a campaign to repatriate the body of Mary, Queen of Scots, from Westminster Abbey.

Ms Grahame plans to lodge a motion in the Scottish Parliament calling for the monarch's remains to be buried in Scotland. She will also write to culture minister Linda Fabiani, urging the Scottish Government to support her campaign.

Queen Mary, who was born at Linlithgow Palace, fled to England after she was forced to abdicate in 1567. She was held prisoner by her cousin Elizabeth I for 20 years and eventually executed at Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire.

She was initially buried at Peterborough Cathedral, but her body was exhumed in 1612 when her son, King James I of England and VI of Scotland, ordered that she be reinterred at Westminster Abbey.

Grahame said she believes Mary should be buried at Falkland Palace in Fife, where her father died shortly after she was born.

She said: "She was an iconic historical Scots figure and ultimately the victim of English plotting. Given the House of Stuart's association with Falkland Palace, a place where Mary is believed to have spent her happiest days, that would appear to be an appropriate place to inter her remains."
The campaign also has the backing of Hugh O'Donnell, the Liberal Democrat MSP and composer James MacMillan.

Alan MacInnes, professor of history at Strathclyde University, agreed Mary's final resting place should be at Falkland Palace.

He said: "She shouldn't be in England under any circumstances."

A spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland told the BBC: "Mary Queen of Scots is undoubtedly held in very great and affectionate esteem by Scots Catholics who admire her religious devotion and fidelity to the Church. As such there would be significant interest among many Catholics in any plan to repatriate her remains."