The last remaining private army in Europe, The Atholl Highlanders, has returned for the first time in two years to the appreciation and applause of gathered crowds.
Despite the forecasted rain, crowds gathered in the picturesque grounds of Blair Castle to enjoy the pageantry, history and hard work that has gone into the event.
Following the parade, music and the 3pm firing of the 3lb Atholl Highlanders Field Gun, the Atholl Highlanders were inspected by The Right Honourable Lord Naren Patel of Dunkeld KT, FRSE, FMedSci who then conducted a presentation of long service awards.
Atholl Estates CEO, Mr Andrew BruceWootton said:
“There is tremendous camaraderie and sense of brotherhood among the regiment and just the spirits of the group.
“It’s always a marvel to see and hear during the parade. It’s just such a spectacular event and it brings so much joy and personality to Blair Castle.
“They’re all very experienced and I don’t want to over congratulate, but they are all excellent at parading and they know what they’re doing.
“It’s really more a matter of dusting off and shining up than learning from scratch but it does still take a good few days of practise which is a fantastic investment and that in itself it just speaks volumes about the commitment that the men show.
The event had been due to take place in May this year but was cancelled due to COVID restrictions.
Mr BruceWootton reflected on the past year and the positivity events like this generate following a tough year.
Mr BruceWootton added:
“When you have an event like that, that comes back after a period of being forced to cancel it, it’s just another very symbolic event that suggests that we have every reason to be hopeful that we’re on the right side of this thing.
“It’s been a tough time for the estate as it’s been for everybody both on an individual basis as well as on a business basis. And we’re just very pleased to see the sun starting to shine through the clouds again and last Saturday was a tremendous example of that.
“It’s been a big shot in the arm a boost before we move into the sort of darker months of the year.”