The Thinking of Speaking
Issue #11 September / October 2014
The Legend of the Scottish Princess
by Erik Zidowecki
September / October 2014 | 

With the recent movement by Scotland to become independent from the United Kingdom, there was some talk that someone from the Faroe Islands should be made the new King of Scotland.

This idea seems very far-fetched, considering that there doesn't seem to be any connection between the two islands. The Faroe Islands are under Danish control and have never been under Scottish rule. So how does this claim make any sense?

Well, there is an old legend on the Faroe Islands about a Scottish princess having fled to the islands centuries ago, and that her descendants are now living there. In what was once Kongsdaal, now Korndalur, ("The Corn Valley"), on the island of Nólsoy, the foundations of a few small huts or cottages can still be found among the hay fields and potato-patches of the village of Eide. One of these ruins, which is rather larger than the rest (but still quite small), is known among the islanders as the Prinsessutoftir, or “The Princess’s Ruin”. According to the legend, long ago, a Scottish princess lived here. She was a daughter of Jacobus, King of Scotland, and she married in secret a page named Eric, who came to her father's Court from abroad. Knowing the King was bound to find this out and would not approve, the princess sailed away with her husband and many followers in a ship. They arrived in the Faroe Islands, on Nólsoy, where the Black Death had recently ravaged the population.

The princess had her servants build her a house in Kongsdaal, where she soon gave birth to a son. Her father eventually found her on the islands, and the first person he saw when he landed on Nólsoy was his little grandson, who happened to be playing on the shore. The boy was so like his mother that the king instantly knew that he was his grandson. The boy's beauty warmed King Jacobus's heart, and he forgave the princess and her husband. He begged them to return to Scotland with him, but they declined to do so, and he returned to Scotland without them.

This is all legend, and there is no historical evidence to prove it, but the people of the island are sure she was the daughter of King James II of Scotland. Since the vote for Scottish independence failed, we didn't get to see this claim put to the test. Perhaps there will be another chance in a few years. It would make for a very unique connection between the two countries.

The Legend of the Scottish Princess
Writer: Erik Zidowecki
Miranda Metheny: Prinsessutoftir
Petey: Nólsoy stamp

Miranda Metheny retains all copyright control over her images. They are used in Parrot Time with her expressed permission.

All images are Copyright - CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Share Alike) by their respective owners, except for Petey, which is Public Domain (PD) or unless otherwise noted.


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