Wilkie conveys magnificently, in this small sketch, the colourful pomp and ceremony of King George IV's arrival at Holyrood House in Edinburgh in 1822. A fanfare of trumpets sounds as the kneeling Duke of Hamilton presents the keys of the palace to the king. Other nobles in attendance include the traditional custodians of the Honours of Scotland: the Crown, the Sceptre and the Sword of State. Brilliant touches of red, gold and white enrich the royal event unfolding before the theatrical backdrop of the palace architecture. Wilkie painted this as a preparatory study for his larger panel, now at Holyrood.