The Mary Queen of Scots film arrives in cinemas from January 18 – but Scots would pick TV star Lorraine Kelly as their new monarch.
The breakfast TV host, from East Kilbride, is top choice to be today’s Queen of Scots in survey commissioned by Macdonald Hotels & Resorts
On the week that the Hollywood blockbuster based on the life of Mary Queen of Scots hits the big screen, Scots have had their say on who they’d choose to be their Queen in 2019.
Lorraine Kelly, the queen of daytime TV, could add another Kingdom to her roster, as Scots would choose her over anyone else to be their ruler – and in her first act, she has called for Scots to watch more Billy Connolly.
The ScotPulse survey was commissioned by Macdonald Hotels & Resorts to celebrate the release of the movie, as well as the independent hotel group’s connection to the historic figure.
During her reign Mary was regularly entertained at Houstoun Manor House, which is now the Macdonald Houstoun House Hotel. After she was executed, it is said that the Shairp family, who owned the property in the 16th century, locked the door to the room where she usually slept, stating that it should never be used again.
Now, the apartment serves as the hotel’s honeymoon suite, allowing the bride and groom to enjoy a luxurious stay in a historically significant setting.
Lorraine Kelly said: ‘How hilarious. My first act as queen would be that everyone has to watch at least five minutes of Billy Connolly every morning before they leave the house in order to be in a good mood and spread happiness.’
Lyn MacDonald, group marketing director at Macdonald Hotels & Resorts said: ‘Lorraine Kelly is welcome to come and stay in the honeymoon suite any time. As the choice of Scottish people to be today’s Queen, I’m sure she’d enjoy retracing Mary’s steps.
‘Film tourism is on the rise and we anticipate an increase in bookings because of the significant historical link to the hotel. We’ve seen the impact movies such as Harry Potter and James Bond have had on tourism in this country, and I believe the Mary Queen of Scots film will be a major driver of visits to Scotland.’
In a close-run race, Lorraine, the host of her self-named talk show on ITV who became a household name as co-host of GMTV in the early 90s, just pipped singer songwriter Annie Lennox to the crown. While Lorraine was top for under 45s and female respondents, men would prefer to be ruled by actress and comedian Elaine C Smith and over 45s favoured the Eurythmics singer.
There was an east-west divide in the voting, with voters in the west of Scotland preferring Elaine C Smith while respondents from the other side of the M8 picked Lorraine. In the North, Annie Lennox, from Aberdeen, was the clear winner.
Tennis coach Judy Murray, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Olympic gold medallist Katherine Grainger were also popular choices of the more than 1,500 people who participated in the survey.
Built in the 16th century after the land was bought by local advocate Sir John Shairp, Macdonald Houstoun House Hotel is located in 22 acres of beautiful woodlands near Livingston, just west of Edinburgh.
The Manor House provides guests and visitors from home and abroad with a fascinating glimpse into Scotland’s past. It is also one of the area’s top venues for weddings, events and business conferences.
In the film, Mary Queen of Scots, Saoirse Ronan plays the Queen herself as part of a star-studded cast in the period drama, which also features A-Listers Margot Robbie, David Tennant and Guy Pearce.
To find out more about how you can live like a Queen with a stay at Macdonald Houstoun House, click HERE.