The Palace of Holyroodhouse, more commonly known as Holyrood Palace, originally founded as a monastery by David I of Scotland in 1128, has served as the principal residence of the Kings and Queens of Scotland since the 15th century. From 1603, when King James VI of Scotland inherited the throne of England and moved to London, until the reign of King George IV (1820 - 1830), the palace remained an unused royal residence. In modern times, monarchs have spent one week every year formally holding court in the Palace in Edinburgh. The present Queen of the United Kingdom still uses it when she visits Scotland for State occasions (on non-State occasions, she stays at Balmoral). Its use has increased substantially since the setting up of the devolved Scottish administration in the late 1990s, with various members of the Royal Family, notably the Prince of Wales and the Princess Royal regularly staying there. It has even been suggested that a member of the Royal Family, widely expected to be the Princess Royal (who has strong Scottish connections) may well become a full-time royal resident in the Palace, representing the Queen.

At the Palace Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom meets and appoints the First Minister of Scotland. During the British presidency of the European Union a meeting of the European Council took place here.

The Palace stands in Edinburgh at the bottom of the Royal Mile. Across the road construction on the building of the new Scottish Parliament continues.

During times when the Queen or another member of the Royal Family is not in residence, it is open to the public.