Scotlands History

Margaret, the Maid of Norway (1283–1290)

When Alexander III died unexpectedly without a male heir, his granddaughter, the young Margaret ‘the Maid of Norway’ was to become Queen of Scots.

Margaret was the daughter of King Eric II of Norway and Margaret, daughter of Alexander III. She was born and raised in Norway.

The Guardians of Scotland negotiated a marriage between Margaret and Prince Edward of Caernarvon, son of King Edward I of England. The Treaty of Birgham stated that the children of Margaret and Prince Edward would rule both England and Scotland.

Margaret fell ill during the sea voyage from Norway to Scotland. Her ship, bound for Leith, was sent off course by a storm. It landed on Orkney at St Margaret's Hope on South Ronaldsay.

In September or October 1290, Margaret died in Orkney. Her body was returned to Norway where she was laid to rest beside her mother in Christ's Kirk, Bergen.

With the death of the Maid of Norway the Scots had lost the rightful heir to the throne. Rivals claimants from Scotland’s noble families came forward to vie for the crown.

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