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Couple Follow Medieval Marriage with Horseback Role in Spectacular Pageant

11 May 2009


Dan Moriarty and Madelaine Nelson will marry in Medieval style the weekend before taking part in a huge pageant recalling a great Renaissance royal wedding.

The couple are costumed performers in the Fire and Sword historical re-enactment group.

This month they will tie the knot dressed in Medieval fashions – including full armour for Dan – at a ceremony near their home, in Montgreenan, Kilwinning.

Just a week later Dan will be strapping on his armour once again and mounting his horse Megan, to ride down Linlithgow High Street at the head of a royal cavalcade.

His bride will be there too, mounted on a steed named Boston, showing the public how a 16th-century noblewoman would ride side saddle.

They will be among 120 costumed performers gathering for the spectacular Party at the Palace 1503 being staged by Historic Scotland for the Year of Homecoming.

It takes place over the weekend of 23 and 24 May at Linlithgow Palace and includes an impressive tournament where eight mounted knights will joust and 80 foot warriors will clash in the arena.

Madelaine said: “It’s incredibly busy for us at the moment, preparing for our own Medieval-style marriage one weekend, and a huge pageant recalling the wedding celebrations for King James IV and Margaret Tudor just a few days later.”

One of her duties during Party at the Palace 1503 will be to act as a groom to the newly-wed English princess, leading her horse along Linlithgow High Street to the palace.

Dan will be at the head of the procession, which includes the king and queen plus eight knights.

Acting the part of Sir William Keith, Earl Marischal of Scotland, his job will be to chase stray dogs from the road and ensure the royals get to their party on time.

Visitors will be able to meet Dan during the weekend, though he reckons it will be Megan, his gentle giant of a shire horse, who will attract the most attention.

“People can often be a bit wary of coming to speak to a bloke wearing armour and carrying a large sword if they are on foot.

“But they have no such worries if you’re on a huge horse, they’ll just walk right up and give her a pat and then start chatting to you.

“So I’ll spend a lot of the weekend sat on Megan in three stone of plate armour and mingling with the crowd, which will be great.”

Party at the Palace 1503 not only recalls the union of a Stuart king and a Tudor princess but also the signing of the Treaty of Perpetual Peace between their realms.

Nick Finnigan, Historic Scotland filming and events manager, said: “It’s fantastic that Dan and Madelaine can be with us so soon after their own wedding.

“They will be making a really special contribution to Party at the Palace 1503 – as will Megan and Boston.

“It’s going to be one of the most spectacular events of Scotland’s Year of Homecoming and will be great entertainment for the whole family.

“We have got superb performers coming from all across Scotland and the UK, and all of them will play a vital role in making sure the weekend is a big success.”

Activities for the weekend include tented medieval encampments where visitors can find out what like was like in the early 16th century.

Throughout each day there will be lots to see inside the palace with a jester, storyteller, poet, falconers, cooks and even an alchemist. Visitors will also be able to enjoy medieval music and dancing.

  • Historic Scotland is delighted to be supporting the 2009 Year of Homecoming with a series of initiatives including family trails, spectacular events and the creation of a Homecoming Pass for heritage attractions in association with other heritage organisations.

For further information

Rebecca Hamilton
Marketing and Media Manager
Marketing and Media
0131 668 8685 / 07788 923871
Dan Moriarty 01294 850 256