Queen Victoria and Prince Albert visited Hawthornden Castle in Midlothian on 14 September 1842, the last day of their first holiday in Scotland. The owners of the castle, the Walker Drummond family, were away from home and so the royal couple paid only a brief visit. The 23-year old queen was much impressed by the view of the river Esk, and afterwards the party explored the caves in the sandstone cliff, said to have once sheltered Robert the Bruce. Two years after the visit Sir William Allan painted this charming picture of the scene, presumably for the Drummonds. Typical of Allan’s romantic landscape painting, he exaggerated the height of the cliff and possibly the trees, with the result that the people – albeit a royal party – almost disappear in the grandeur of the natural scene.