The Atholl Highlanders Parade

The Atholl Highlanders Parade

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The Atholl Highlanders - Europe's last legal private army.

atholl-highlanders-march.jpgOrigins of the Atholl Highlanders. The Atholl Highlanders origins date back over 200 years to 1777 when the 4th Duke of Atholl raised the 77th Regiment of Foot as a relief for other regiments serving in North America. The Atholl Highlanders came to the fore when the Lord Lyon, later the 6th Duke, in 1839, resurrected the regiment as a bodyguard which he took to the Eglinton Tournament at Eglinton Castle, Ayrshire.

Queen Victoria - The Atholl Highlanders escorted Queen Victoria during her tour of Perthshire and when she stayed at Blair Castle. In recognition of this Queen Victoria awarded the Atholl Highlanders its colours,in 1845, giving the regiment official status.

Atholl Highlanders Parade 26th May 2012 on You TubeAtholl Highlanders Parade 26th May 2012 with Prince Michael of Kent and the 12th Duke of Atholl, Bruce Murray.

Atholl Highlanders Parade 26th May 2012 on You Tube

Atholl Highlanders Parade 25th May 2014 - a summary of thecomplete parade, from the march on, the Duke inspecting his troups, the new recruits receiving their Juniper sprigs for their caps and the march off. All very special, we recommend you see it first hand to take it all in.

Today - The Atholl Highlanders are purely ceremonial regiment, including pipes and drums. They wear a sprig of juniper in the bonnets, the Murray clan's plant badge. In times past when the the highland clan system was at it strength, clans would recognise each other, not by the tartan cloth they were wearing, but by their plant badge worn in their bonnets. atholl-highlanders-on-parad.jpgEach clan having its own plant badge, worn to differentiate it from other clans. The Atholl Highlander's tartan is the Clan Murray of Atholl tartan.

The regiment's officers are usually lairds from the areas around Blair Atholl, while other ranks are men with connections either to the local area or to the Duke's estate. Membership of the regiment is by the personal invitation of the Duke.

Atholl Highlander Parades - The Atholl Highlanders parade twice a year, both occasions occur on the Bank Holiday Saturday and Sunday on the last weekend of May. There are certain other occasions when the Duke permits the regiment to parade, such as royal visits to Blair Castle (when the regiment would serve as the guard), or on tours overseas.

Atholl Highlanders Parade on You Tube

A popular You Tube clip showing the Atholl Highlanders on Parade and the 11th Duke presenting his grandson with the Juniper for his cap on joining the Atholl Highlanders.

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