St. Margaret Statue

The 2012 Budapest Burns Supper saw the announcement of cultural fund raising project that encapsulates the historic links between Scotland (and England) and Hungary.

“We are looking for sponsors to build a statue to St Margaret of Scotland. Designs have been drawn up, and the sculptor would like to go ahead, but we are currently trying to establish where would be the best location,” says Jock MacKenzie of the Robert Burns International Foundation Curatorium.

The life-size statue would cost in the region of HUF 8-9 million, but the project will only go ahead once all the criteria have been met, including exact location and fully documented costs.

St Margaret links Scotland, Hungary and England. An Anglo Saxon princess, she was sister to Edgar Atheling (briefly proclaimed King of England after Harold II’s death at Hastings in 1066, but never crowned), daughter of Edward the Exile (who would probably have ascended to the throne after the death of his uncle, Edward the Confessor in 1065, had he not unexpectedly predeceased him), granddaughter of Edward Ironsides, and great granddaughter of Ethelred the Unready (both Kings of England), and a direct descendent of King Alfred the Great.

Exiled as a boy by King Canute as the Dane sought to solidify his hold of England, Margaret’s father Edward eventually ended up as a friend and aide to Hungary’s Endre (Andrew) I, also called András the White or András the Catholic. Thus Edgar, Margaret and their sister Cristina were born in Hungary. At one time their mother Agatha was believed to have been related to Hungary’s founding king-saint István (Stephen), but it is now thought she was more likely the sister-in-law of King Endre I. Margaret married (and is to said to have civilized!) Máel Coluim mac Donnchada (Malcolm III) in 1070, or there about, and is Scotland’s only royal saint.