Media Release: Popular Belle brings public to Palace

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SCONE Palace is no stranger to historical moments but, as it opens its doors this Wednesday in anticipation of the start of the traditional tourist season, the crowning place of the Kings of Scots is also gearing up for a surge in new visitors thanks to the growing popularity of the Hollywood film, Belle, which is now available on the global streaming site, Netflix.

The only portrait representation of Dido Belle known to exist, and which is a central storyline to the film, was painted in 1779 by the German painter, Johann Zoffany, and depicts Dido Elizabeth Belle and her cousin, the Lady Elizabeth Murray. Today, it hangs in the Ambassador’s Room at Scone Palace.

Last year, in recognition of the film’s link with Scone Palace, a new exhibition was developed to tell the story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the mixed-race daughter of a slave and a British admiral who spent part of her early life at the Perthshire Palace, and played a little-known role in the abolition of international slavery.

Born in the 18th Century to Sir John Lindsay, nephew of the 1st Earl of Mansfield and the African slave Maria Belle, Dido Elizabeth Belle was brought up under the care and protection of the 1st Earl of Mansfield, who was the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales and whose family home was at Scone Palace.

Margo Baird, head of Marketing at Scone Palace, commented: “We’ve had tremendous interest in Belle and her exhibition, Dido Belle: Her Story.

“It has been incredibly popular with visitors from around the world and, in particular, from the USA.

“It is now the third most searched for-term that brings visitors to our website and the traffic continues to build since Netflix released it on their streaming service.

“Although it was always intended to be a temporary exhibition, we will continued to display it this year in response to popular demand and in recognition that the film is due to be released in Japan later this year.”

Scone Palace recently scooped the top accolade for tourism in the Countryside Alliance Awards.

It attracts over 100,000 visitors every year, as well as welcoming the tens of thousands of visitors who attend major events held on the estate such as Rewind Festival and The Scottish Game Fair. It is one of Scotland’s biggest tourist destinations.

Traditionally, Scone Palace has gifted an Annual Season Ticket to the first family through the gates on Wednesday 1st April at 10am.

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For more information about Scone Palace please contact Anna Gunn on 01738 700135 or

PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: 9.30am on Wednesday 1st April, Scone Palace, Perth, PH2 6BD – Photograph the first visitors of the summer season arrive through the Palace gates.

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