The Power and Majesty of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo
The musical spectacular which has been captivating the world for the past 60 years.
Welcome, One And All !
Imagine a spectacle of military regiments from Norway to New Zealand, and from Australia to Scotland, combined into a musical event unlike any other the world over.
This is the 60th season of the Military Tattoo held at the ancient fortification that is Edinburgh Castle, in the capitol city of Scotland. In the year of our lord 2009, the event will be held between the 7th and 29th of August. This season is also dedicated in tribute to the 250th anniversary of the birth of Scotland's National Bard, Robert Burns.
I, myself, have never had the privilege of visiting Scotland, let alone experiencing the Tattoo in person, but I was captivated by its pageantry which I viewed on video. The event will be watched by a 100 million strong television audience along with the 217,000 people who invade the Castle Esplanade each year.
The castle lays in wait through twilight, contemplating the coming of nightfall when the floodlights on the esplanade will magically illuminate the entire castle and the musical spectacular will erupt to the cheers, screams and whistles of an adoring and awe-inspired crowd who have congregated from every corner of the world.
Event Photo 1
Event Photo 2
The Scottish Regiments
I could not possibly list all of the world regiments who participate in this event each year. However, I can give you a list of the hometown favorites which are the Scottish Regiments. I obtained this information from the official event website which you may peruse in its entirety at www.edinburgh-tattoo.co.uk.
THE ROYAL SCOTS DRAGOON GUARDS:
Formed in July 1971 by the amalgamaion of the 3rd Carabiniers and The Royal Scots Greys. The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards are Scotland's only Regiment of Cavalry. Their forebear's the 3rd and 6th Dragoon Guards and the 2nd Dragoons and have an unbroken history from 1678, through European wars, South Africa and two world wars. The Regiment saw action during the 1991 Gulf war in Challenger 1 Tanks.
The Scots Guards were formed in 1642. Originally Commanded by Archibald, First Marquis of Argyle. The Regiment was formed to protect Scottish settlers in Ulster and become part of the Royal Guard for Charles 1.
Over the centuries the Regiment has been known by a number of different names such as the Scots Fusilier Guards, before having the present title restored by Queen Victoria in 1877.
THE ROYAL SCOTS:
The Royal Scots is the oldest Regiment of the Line in the British Army. The official raising of the regiment was in 1633 when Sir John Hepburn, under a warrant given by King Charles I, recruited 1200 men in Scotland to fight in France. Their first Battle Honour was Tangier 1680 since when a further 148 have been gained in a history which has involved them in almost every campaign in which the British Army has fought, including Marlborough's battles, the Peninsular War, Waterloo, India,the Crimea and South Africa.
THE ROYAL HIGHLAND FUSILIERS:
The Regiment was formed on the 20th January 1959 by the amalgamation of The Royal Scots Fusiliers and The Highland Light Infantry. Recruits are drawn from the City of Glasgow and Ayrshire. HRH Princess Margaret is the Colonel in Chief
The RSF were raised in 1678. Originally known as The Earl of Mar's Regiment, they had several name changes over the years: - Scots Fusiliers, 21st Royal North British Fusiliers, and finally Royal Scots Fusiliers.
THE KING'S OWN SCOTTISH BORDERERS:
The King's Own Scottish Border Regiment was mustered in 1689, originally called the Earl of Leven's.
The Borderers' military history dates back to honours in Namur in 1695, Gallipoli in 1915-16 and Dunkirk in 1940.During the turbulent days of 1689, when the citizens of Edinburgh were in a state of alarm at the prospect of an attack by Jacobite forces, David Earl of Leven was authorised 'with all expedition to levie one Regiment of Foot'. This he achieved in the remarkably short period of two hours. Named after him initially as 'Leven's Regiment', it was soon to be in action at the Battle of Killiecrankie. But this was not to be the Regiment's last conflict with the Jacobites, for it is unique in the Army in having also fought at Sherriffmuir in 1715 and at Culloden in 1746.
The Cameronian Regiment, the 26th of foot was raised in 1689 and took the name of Richard Cameron, a Covenanter, whose efforts to defend the Presbyterian Faith led ultimately to this capture and death in 1680.
In 1881 the Regiment was linked to the Perthshire Light Infantry , the 90th of foot, raised in 1794 in the Lowlands of Perthshire by Thomas Graham (later to become Lord Lynedoch) who achieved fame in the Pennisular War.
The Regiment took part in many campaigns around the world not least the terrible battle of Neuve Chapelle. It saw action in Burma, Sicily, Italy and marched across Europe from Normandy to the Baltic. In more recent times the Regiment served in Trieste, Germany, Jordan, Kenya and Aden and took part in operations in Malaya, and the Arabian Peninsula.
In 1968, as part of the first round of Defence cuts the Regiment chose to disband rather than amalgamate with another Lowland Regiment.
THE BLACK WATCH:
Raised in 1725 as independent companies to police the Highlands. The name originated from the dark colour of the tartan and the role of watching the Highland clans.
Black Watch soldiers in Iraq, 2003The companies were formed into a Regiment in 1740 and were to become the 42nd Royal Highlanders after receiving the Royal Warrant in 1751.
A second battalion was raised which became a separate regiment, the 73rd - but in 1881 it reverted to become the 2nd Battalion of the Regiment again.
The distinctive Red Hackle was issued in 1795 a privilege exclusive to The Black Watch. 14 VCs Field Marshall Ear Wavell is the most renowned soldier of the Regiment.
THE QUEEN'S OWN HIGHLANDERS:
Queen's Own Highlanders were an amalgamation of three of the famous Highland regiments raised in the late 18th Century; The 72nd Highlanders (Duke of Albany's Own), The 78th Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs) and the 79th Cameron Highlanders, who became Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders in 1873.
Seaforth Recruting Poster for The 72nd Highlanders were originally numbered for the 78th Highlanders, they were recruited by the Earl of Seaforth mainly from Ross-shire and Lewis, and first mustered at Elgin in 1778. They were subsequently renumbered as the 72nd Highlanders. In 1881 they were amalgamated with the 78th Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs) to become the 1st Battalion Seaforth Highlanders. The 78th has the emblem of the Assaye Elephant in India in 1803, and the 79th has the Sphinx for their service in Egypt in 1801.
On 7 February 1961 the Seaforth Highlanders and The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders were amalgamated to form the Queen's Own Highlanders (Seaforth, and Camerons).
THE GORDON HIGHLANDERS:
Raised by the 4th Duke of Gordon in 1794, The Gordon Highlanders, numbered the 100th, traditionally recruited from the North East of Scotland. The raising of the Regiment was famously assisted by the Duchess Jean who is said to have offered a kiss to prospective recruits with a guinea between her lips.
In 1798 the Gordons were numbered the 92nd. The Sphinx emblem was awarded for services against the French armies in Egypt in 1801 and the Tiger emblem in 1807 in recognition of the 75th's service in India. Further honours were earned in the Peninsular War and in 1815, the 92nd fought at Quatre Bras and Waterloo, taking part in the famous 'Scotland for Ever' charge with the Scots Greys.
THE ARGYLL AND SUTHERLAND HIGHLANDERS:
The Argyllshire Highlanders, or 91st, were raised on the 10th February 1794. Five years after the raising of the 91st another Highland Corps came into being, this was the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders.
For the next eighty years both Regiments fought with distinction all over the world. The 91st served in South Africa and in the Peninsula against Napoleon, during the course of which nine battle honours were gained.
THE ROYAL REGIMENT OF SCOTLAND:
In 2006 it was announced that Scotland's Historic Regiments would reform as five regular and two TA battalions, the Royal Scots and the King's Own Scottish Borderers having amalgamated that same year to form The Royal Scots Borderers.
Battalion titles are as follows:-
The Royal Scots Borderers 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland
The Royal Highland Fusiliers 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland
The Black Watch 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland
The Highlanders 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland
The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland
52nd Lowland 6th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland
51st Highland 7th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland
Each Battalion will retain a Pipe Band
The Band of The Royal Regiment of Scotland
Bands of the 6th and 7th Battalions
Event Photo 3
Event Photo 4
The Lone Piper
Musically eerie, beautiful, and hypnotizing. There are few instruments and symbols which can bring tears to the eyes like the sight of the Lone Piper, lamenting through his pipes, a Celtic past.
The Poignant Sounds of the Bagpipe
How do you feel about bagpipe music?
Event Photo 5
The Lone Piper
The Edinburgh Military Tattoo on Amazon
Och Aye, 'Tis A Splendid Affair. - So, what did you think?
Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on November 11, 2010:
Love the city. Enjoyed walking around and tried Haggis, too.
Karicor on May 31, 2009:
I've never made it to Edinburgh but you lens gives me a pretty good idea what it's like to experience the Military Tattoo. Thanks for the trip!
greenerme on May 14, 2009:
I was here in 2000, but not during one of these celebrations! I did a lot of walking in this city, it's so beautiful. Excellent lens!
Spook LM on December 02, 2008:
You go lad, keep it up.
dc64 lm on November 08, 2008:
Thanks for your comment on my Scotland lens, I plan including Edinburgh Castle in my next lens on Scottish Castles, and I will then lensroll this one to it! It's awesome.
Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on November 08, 2008:
Beautifully done. You have a great lens here. I have actually seen the castle and could just imagine this awesome event. Excellent.