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Prince Charles Reconvenes his Council in The Panelled Room of Exeter House

Prince Charles Edward Wins at Last: "The Ayes Certainly Have It!"

History tells us that Bonnie Prince Charlie wanted to press ahead with his Campaign from Derby in December 1745, to recapture the Crown for his father and the Stuart cause. But democratic process amongst his Council of Chiefs was destined to determine their own and his family's future. The Council met in the Panelled Room of the Earl of Exeter's home and fatefully resolved to turn back to Scotland. And the campaign ended with bitter defeat at the hands of the Duke of Cumberland and the Hanoverians at Culloden in April 1746. Scotland was never to be the same again.

In December 2006 The Trustees of the Battle of Prestonpans 1745 Heritage Trust made their way to that very same room now housed at the City Museum. There they listened to the advices of the Prince [portrayed by Arran Johnston of Derby's 'Charles Edward Stuart Society'], whose senior officers also attended. They were there to consider that very same question: Do We Turn Back?

click on images to enlarge

After studying their maps and all those ancient documents on the table, debating myriad plans, reviewing the successes so far accomplished and the quite exceptional rallying of so much additional support since September 21st, the Trustees and all others present raised the ceiling with the cry: "Yes".

The Prince was well content with this day's work, and so were the Trustees. But the Prince for the 260th time surely also ponders that haunting question: What if we had pressed ahead all those years ago?

Published Date: December 4th 2006

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