Help us bring Bonnie Prince Charlie home

by West Highland Museum, Highlands and Islands


£28,016 raised
176 funders

Funded 15 November 2021

0% funded

112% funded

Help us bring the exiled Royal House of Stuart back to Scotland for an iconic exhibition.

We need your help to bring previously unseen portraits of the exiled Stuart dynasty back to Scotland for an exhibition at the West Highlands Museum.

Located in Lochaber, known as the ‘cradle’ of the 1745 Jacobite Rising, our museum is famous for our Jacobite collection, and to celebrate our 100th birthday in 2022 we want to bring a collection of 13 portraits of the Stuart family, some of which have never before been displayed in the UK, back home to the West Highlands for an exhibition.

Prince Charles Edward Stuart, by Rosalba Carriera, 1737 (Pininski Foundation)

The Stuarts ruled Scotland from 1371 and were the first monarchs to rule England and Scotland from 1603, with James VI of Scotland succeeding to the English throne after Elizabeth I’s death. In 1688 James VII (II of England) was deposed in the 'Glorious Revolution' and fled into exile to France where he established his court in exile at the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, a few miles to the west of Paris. His supporters were known as Jacobites (after Jacobus, the Latin for James) and over the next century several unsuccessful attempts were made by the Jacobites to restore James’ heirs to the throne.

James' grandson Prince Charles Edward Stuart instigated the most famous Rising in August 1745. He landed here in Lochaber in the West Highlands and rallied the Jacobite clans. The Jacobites occupied Edinburgh, where the Prince held a magnificent ball at Holyroodhouse to celebrate his victory at the Battle of Prestonpans, before his army moved south and invaded England. In December 1745, they reached as far south as Derby and it is said that the Hanoverian monarch, George II was preparing to flee London. However, the Prince was persuaded to retreat to Scotland where at Culloden Moor the final battle of the Jacobite Risings was fought in April 1746. The Jacobite Army was defeated and the Prince became a fugitive, famously hiding in the Highland lochs and glens from Government troops who were in hot pursuit. In September 1746 he escaped to France and the legend of Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Highland adventure was born.

James VIII & III, by Alexis Simon Belle, 1712 (Pininski Foundation)
Princess Clementina Sobieska, by William Mosman, 1733 (Pininski Foundation)

Our exhibition will feature the newly discovered Rosalba Carriera portrait of the Prince painted in Venice in 1737. Carriera is one of the most successful female artists of any era and is renowned for her portraiture, particularly her pastel work. This portrait of the young Prince was rediscovered in 2018 and exhibited briefly at National Museums Scotland in 2019. Unless this crowdfunding campaign is successful, this iconic portrait and others in this collection may never be displayed in the UK again as they could soon be on permanent loan to a European museum.

The exhibition will also include 13 paintings of four generations of the Royal House of Stuart, including James VIII and III (known to the Hanoverians as the Old Pretender) and his wife Princess Clementina Sobieska, through to Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) and his daughter Charlotte, Duchess of Albany. The series of paintings ends with Charlotte’s daughter Princess Marie Victorie de Rohan.

The paintings come from the Pininski Foundation, Liechtenstein, who care for this important private collection of fine art and the costs will cover transportation from Europe, installation and interpretation.

With your help we can bring Bonnie Prince Charlie and his family back home to Scotland for this iconic exhibition in August 2022.

5 Reasons to help us

From helping make history to celebrating our centenary with us. Here are five great reasons to donate today Read more

Our rewards are steeped in Jacobite history

As a thank you for donating to our campaign, you can claim this unique piece of Jacobite history. Discover the story behind our set of beechwood coasters reward Read more

We’ve reached a quarter of the way, can you help more by sharing?

We have just 22 days left to raise the final £20,000 needed, which will give people the opportunity to see these rare and iconic portraits in Scotland Read more

Bring Bonnie Prince Charlie back

Bring Bonnie Prince Charlie back Read more

We have 13 days to go and £12,924 still to raise, can you help by sharing?

We still need your help in bringing this iconic exhibition to Scotland Read more

Our unique and exclusive rewards are inspired by our collection

Find out more about our Holyroodhouse fan print reward Read more

We’ve reached our target!

Thank you for helping us reach our target and to bring Bonnie Prince Charlie home Read more

Campaign Update

Thanks to your help we are looking forward to returning the Stuarts to Scotland in 2022 Read more

Kevin Mackinnon

18 November 2021 - 08:08

Clan MacKinnon makes this donation to continue support of the King over the water.
dileas gu brath

Glenn Walker

15 November 2021 - 23:38

Keep it up!

Alasdair Ferguson

15 November 2021 - 16:09

All the best with the project!

From all at Ferguson Transport & Shipping

Baron Prestoungrange

15 November 2021 - 11:09

Brilliant initiative .. hope to continue with Jacobite Scotland plans ....

Christine Hutchison

15 November 2021 - 10:44

Looking forward to the display - well done!

Lisa Frost

15 November 2021 - 08:02

Good Luck with the project.

Fiona Mactaggart

14 November 2021 - 22:30

Good Luck - I hope you reach your target!

John and Jan Martin

14 November 2021 - 17:44

Good luck!

Carolyn Seggie

14 November 2021 - 12:32

Vanessa you and the team are doing a wonderful job. I will continue to support you in every way.

Alistair Macleod

12 November 2021 - 12:19

Good idea.

Patricia Sheldon

11 November 2021 - 16:56

Good luck with this exhibition!

Dianne Drysdale

10 November 2021 - 10:00

What a fantastic project, great idea.

Test Nisha Test

9 November 2021 - 23:25

this is a test

Ann Nisbet

9 November 2021 - 17:33

Good Luck with the exhibition

Valerie Macdonald

9 November 2021 - 16:26

Good luck with the exhibition

June Wallace

8 November 2021 - 11:48


Maxwell Cameron Kitson

8 November 2021 - 02:19

Not as bad as Archnacarry!!

Maxwell Cameron Kitson

8 November 2021 - 01:43

Standard Bearer for Locheil at Culloden. Agent for Duke of Gordon help-raise the Gordon Highlanders.

Valerie Chamberlain

7 November 2021 - 20:40

Every success to this exciting project

Simon Laird

7 November 2021 - 12:23

Best of luck reaching the target.

Garrison West

5 November 2021 - 10:54

Good luck, team WHC!

From all at Garrison West.

Barbara Heyda

4 November 2021 - 19:25

Long live Prince Charlie's memory!

David Bruce

4 November 2021 - 18:48

Grand initiative.

Jim Nimmo

4 November 2021 - 16:45

What more appropriate museum to host this exhibition than the West Highland Museum! Good luck!

Lucy Davis

4 November 2021 - 11:21

Wishing you every success with the project, and looking forward to visiting the exhibition.
Best Wis

Brenda Goodwillie

3 November 2021 - 16:07

Donation from Bidwells

Emily Brown

1 November 2021 - 22:00

Good Luck!

Sheila Goodall

1 November 2021 - 14:24

What a wonderful opportunity not to be missed

Brian Mace

31 October 2021 - 12:50

Good luck with the appeal.

Mark Bridgeman

30 October 2021 - 05:44

Good luck. :)

Gerard Wilkie

29 October 2021 - 21:14

Good luck on bringing the collection to Fort William.

Jan Mulrenan

29 October 2021 - 18:55

To the Project Team - I hope you get huge visitor numbers!

Barry Austin

29 October 2021 - 09:34

Good luck with the fund raising!

Michael Clifton

28 October 2021 - 16:55

Good luck with your campaign

Wendy Franey

27 October 2021 - 15:16

Good luck to everyone involved in the project!

Susan Pacitti Ferguson

26 October 2021 - 19:39

Wishing you all the best of luck with the project!

Christine Thwaite

26 October 2021 - 11:43

Look forward to seeing the exhibition

Colin West

26 October 2021 - 07:37

Good luck! / Gura math a thèid leibh!

Alex Ogilvie

26 October 2021 - 07:02

Best of luck with the fundraising!

Maureen Henderson

25 October 2021 - 15:11

May you reach your fundraising target.

Leigh Spiers

25 October 2021 - 14:24

Good luck.
Great idea, hope to visit.

John Cameron

25 October 2021 - 10:21

Good luck with the campaign!

Hilary Sutherland

24 October 2021 - 17:36

Good luck

Tom Adam

24 October 2021 - 15:13

Well done and good luck in meeting the target!

Jane Wills

24 October 2021 - 10:31

Best of luck with reaching your target , I hope you get lots of support

Iain Macdonald

24 October 2021 - 06:59

Happy to help the arts and our heritage in a small way

Claudia Zumsteg

23 October 2021 - 18:27

Thank you very much, this very wonderful and important project needs our greatest support.

Lora De Felice

23 October 2021 - 12:32

Looking forward to the exhibition!

Lois MacDonell of Glengarry

22 October 2021 - 12:46

To bring these paintings to the Highlands and indeed the UK for the first time will be marvellous.

David Mcnaughton

22 October 2021 - 08:54

Every good wish in your endeavours

Anthony Murphy

22 October 2021 - 08:03

A very worthy cause. Good luck!

Annette Welsh

22 October 2021 - 06:08

Good luck and I look forward to visiting once these artworks are home

Charles Runcie

21 October 2021 - 17:08

Good luck, from one Charlie to another!

Angela Macdonald

21 October 2021 - 05:07

Good luck fom a Lochaber exile!

Marie Robertson

18 October 2021 - 18:27

Fingers crossed this goes ahead,Would be amazing to see.I will share everywhere.Good luck.

Julie Roberts

18 October 2021 - 10:27

Good luck! I’d love to see the exhibition!

Linda Anderson

18 October 2021 - 06:21

Great idea. Well done.

Anne Montgomery

17 October 2021 - 18:37

from Jackie

Maggie Craig

17 October 2021 - 14:36

Sounds like a wonderful idea to celebrate your centenary!

William Harper

17 October 2021 - 13:26

Got to keep our ancestors picture for the future citizens

Jean Keltie

17 October 2021 - 09:46

What a vision for the museum!

Irving Nixon

15 October 2021 - 17:28

I wish you every success with this project!

Catriona Grindley

15 October 2021 - 08:17

Wishing you every success.

Fiona Read

14 October 2021 - 20:41

all the best for this cause!!

Tim Paine

14 October 2021 - 19:53

Great project! Good luck!!

Mark Bridgeman

14 October 2021 - 16:52

Good luck with the appeal!

Diana Laffin

14 October 2021 - 15:04

Good Luck!

Kenneth Barker

14 October 2021 - 10:44

Good luck with the campaign!

Colleen Barker

14 October 2021 - 09:17

Good luck!

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