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  • Writer's pictureDavid and Marilynn Chadwick

Unlikely Heroes: The Real Princess Diaries

by Marilynn Chadwick

I believe every woman has a little bit of princess in her. And deep down inside, she believes she can change the world. A long time ago there lived a real princess who actually did change the world. Her name was Margaret. She married a Scottish King and thus became Queen Margaret, one of the most beloved nobles in the history of Scotland. 

I became captivated by her story years ago when traveling with our family through the Scottish Highlands. I was mesmerized by the land of castles, kings, kilts, and battlefields. Margaret embodied much of what we have been learning about the biblical woman of valor. Her story takes us back to the Middle Ages. 

Margaret was an English princess born in 1045. Her parents fled to Hungary after the Danes took over England. When Margaret was ten years old, she and her family returned to England, where her father suddenly died before he could assume the throne. A few years later, Margaret and her mother, along with her two siblings, were forced to flee for their lives, once again, when William the Conqueror stormed his way through England. While sailing north, Margaret and her family were caught in a storm and shipwrecked on the coast of Scotland. They were aided by King Malcolm and put under his protection. Before long, Malcolm fell deeply in love with the beautiful and kind princess. Margaret and Malcolm married in 1070 at the castle in Edinburgh.

Margaret was a deeply committed Christian whose faith influenced the rather uncouth Malcolm. He turned his heart to God, largely because of his wife. The couple had six sons and two daughters and raised all to become strong followers of Christ. So respected was Margaret for her wisdom that Malcolm placed her in charge of all of Scotland’s domestic affairs. She was often consulted on other state matters as well. Malcolm couldn’t read or write, so Margaret often read him stories from the Bible. Her example also had an impact on the quality of Malcolm's reign, helping him become what was known as the “just ruler.” Together they prayed, fed the hungry, and served the needy.


Margaret had a heart for Scotland’s poor, showing special kindness to orphans. She fed the hungry every morning in the castle, even before she had her own breakfast. She was also known for her deep life of prayer, rising early for prayer and reading the Bible. She even encouraged the ordinary Scottish people to live as faithful Christians, emphasizing prayer and a holy lifestyle. 

When learning about Margaret’s vast areas of service to Scotland, I couldn’t help but notice the quieter, but even more important impact she had on her eight children. Besides educating them at home, she instilled a strength of faith and character that set the foundation for three of her six sons to become Scottish kings during what was known as Scotland’s “Golden Era.” As she had done with King Malcolm, she is said to have influenced her sons to become just and holy rulers.

Margaret was born into royalty—not what you would call an ordinary woman. But she shows what can happen when a woman of great influence chooses to use her position to accomplish God’s purposes. No wonder she has been called, “The Pearl of Scotland.” Who can measure the full impact, not just on Scottish history, but on the history of Christendom, because of this one life?



Today's Moment of Hope is adapted from Woman of Valor by Marilynn Chadwick. To receive a free PDF copy of this book, please visit

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