Margaret (Maid of Norway) (1286-1290)

erwick Town Hall stained glass window depicting "Margaret, queen of Scotland and daughter of Norway"

Lerwick Town Hall stained glass window depicting “Margaret, queen of Scotland and daughter of Norway”

Margaret, usually known as the Maid of Norway, sometimes known as Margaret of Scotland, was a Norwegian–Scottish princess who is widely considered to have been Queen of Scots from 1286 until her death, although this is disputed. Her death sparked off the disputed succession which led to the Wars of Scottish Independence.

She was the daughter of Eirik Magnusson, King of Norway and Margaret, daughter of Alexander III, King of Scots. Margaret was born in 1283, most likely in early April; it is likely that her mother died at her birth, but the date of that death is uncertain.

Margaret died in Orkney on the 26th of September, 1290, at the age of 7 from the effects of sea-sickness whilst sailing to Scotland. After Margaret’s death there was no obvious heir to the Scottish throne, and this saw the beginning of the a great dispute to her succession, which ultimately led to the Wars of Scottish Independence.

There are some who argue over whether Margaret should actually be referred to as Queen of Scots since she was never crowned or inaugurated, nor did she ever set foot in Scotland.

site of Margaret's grave at Dunfermline Abbey

Site of Margaret’s grave at Dunfermline Abbey