The image of Mary Queen of Scots on a prancing horse after landing at the port of Leith in 1561 became the constant design motif for Highland Queen blended Scotch. It has appeared on every label since its launch in the late 19th century. Highland Queen was introduced by Leith-based whisky blender Macdonald & Muir in 1893 and rapidly became the company’s flagship brand. First distributed locally, Highland Queen soon became a household name in markets around the world. In 1924-5 it was one of a handful of blended Scotch whiskies selected for sale at the British Empire Exhibition, held at Wembley, London. After the Second World War, in the face of intense competition in the blended Scotch markets, Macdonald & Muir renewed its focus on the UK market but also explored markets often overlooked by the big industry players, such as Finland and Venezuela. The brand was relaunched with new packaging, presentation and label design in 1976.