Robert II (1371-90)

Although famous for their James’s, the Stewart royal dynasty actually began with Robert II in 1371. For Robert to get things off to a flying start he would need to find a way to deal with the threat of invasion by Edward III, a rebellious nobility in Scotland and the relentless ambition of his own sons. To find out how he got on, listen to his podcast episode here or read on to find out more.

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Donald III (Donalbain) – 1093-97

In 1093, Scotland seemed to have put its dynastic divisions behind it, but despite having had a long and stable reign, as well as a large number of sons, Malcolm III’s surprise death led to a chaotic period of internal conflict, largely thanks to his younger brother and immediately successor, Donald III (known in Shakespeare’s Macbeth as Donalbain). However, Malcolm’s sons would not sit back and let their uncle rest on his laurels and they had the advantage of enjoying the support of the English king, William Rufus.

To find out more about Donald III, you can listen to his episode here or read on to find out more.

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Malcolm III (1058-93)

Malcolm III’s long reign (and in particular his marriage to Margaret of Wessex) was crucial in the development of medieval Scotland. However, with the dramatic events of 1066, there was a new power in the form of the Normans with whom Malcolm would repeatedly clash in the disputed areas around Carlisle and Durham. Would Malcolm come out on top or would the Scots be another victim of the Norman Conquest?

To find out more, listen to Malcolm’s episode here or read on to find out more.

Malcolm III and Queen Margaret

Malcolm III and Queen Margaret

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Lulach (1057-58)

While everyone has heard of Macbeth, Lulach’s name does not, perhaps, resonate quite as strongly in the annals of Scottish history. Lulach’s was not a long reign, it was not a particularly notable reign, in fact it was barely even a reign at all. But still, his name is just about on the king list and he deserves his (albeit rather brief) moment in the spotlight. Click here to listen to his podcast episode or read on to find out more.

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Macbeth (1040-57)

Macbeth is one of William Shakespeare’s most famous plays but there was a real life king behind the murderous villain of the ‘Scottish Play’. Was the real Macbeth the evil tyrant as depicted by Shakespeare or has his reputation been unjustly sullied? You can listen to his podcast episode here or read on for more information.

A 19th century imagining of Macbeth

A 19th century imagining of Macbeth

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Duncan I (1034-40)

According to William Shakespeare, Duncan was a kindly old king murdered in his bed by the villainous Macbeth, but what was the real story? Duncan’s grandfather had ruled Scotland for nearly thirty years but the reign had ended with dynastic conflict. Would Duncan prove the wise king of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, or was the reality of history rather less glorious. Listen to his podcast episode here or read on to find out more.

Duncan in Shakespeare's Macbeth, portrayed by David Thewlis

Duncan in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, portrayed by David Thewlis

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Malcolm II (1005-34)

The Scottish monarchy was thrown into crisis and civil war when Kenneth II, having tried to ensure that the succession would pass from father to son, was killed in 995. After ten years of conflict, Kenneth’s son, Malcolm II, has finally become king, but was it worth the wait? To find out how Malcolm II fared as king, listen to his podcast episode here or read on to find out more.

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