The Scottish Crown has a long and complex history. From a number of local rulers governing separate territories and peoples, a single king emerged by the beginning of the eleventh century to govern most of what is today's Scotland.

The thirteenth century was a time of instability for the Scottish Crown in the face of internal fighting and the Wars of Independence with England.

A sense of nationhood and a stable monarchical succession began to develop from the early fourteenth century onwards, culminating in the Stewart dynasty.

In 1603 a member of this dynasty, King James VI, succeeded to the English Crown. The Union of the Crowns was followed by the Union of the Parliaments in 1707.

Although a new Scottish Parliament now determines much of Scotland's legislation, the two Crowns remain united under a single Sovereign, the present Queen.

Image: Edinburgh Castle