This week, one week after the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, and two weeks after Her Majesty lay in rest in St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, just a short walk from the 3,000-year-old castle at the top of the hill, it seems quite appropriate to share with you my August visit to the Edinburgh Tattoo.
As before, when we attended in 2019, it was a wonderful spectacle, which was for us, preceded by an absolutely fantastic pre-show 5 course meal with whisky tasting.
A different whisky for each of the main courses, with wine on the side!
As you might imagine, we were quite jolly by the time we climbed up to our performance seats 🙂
This in no way influenced our enjoyment of the performance, which was, in my opinion, even better than our last visit.
Things began in daylight, at 9pm, on the esplanade fronting the majestic Edinburgh Castle
The massed pipe and drum bands were assembled from across the world: Scottish regiments The Royal Highland Fusiliers, The Black Watch, The Highlanders, and the Combined Scottish Universities Officers Training Corp, along with the Royal Airforce, The Crossed Swords civilian and military pipes and drums (originating from Germany), The Brisbane Boy’s College pipes and drums (Aus), Paris Port Dover pipes and drums (Canada), and the Pipes and Drums of Christchurch City (NZ).
Here is a small segment.
Next, we were treated to music from the United States Army Field Band, a couple of members of which gave us a small taster over the final 2 courses of our meal. We had already had a mini preview in the grounds of our hotel, which sits within the Edinburgh University campus, and where most of the performers are housed during the Tattoo. It becomes normal to awaken to the sound of bagpipes and drums, and to come across a trombone player, or a French horn, or a troupe of dancers exercising, while you walk between the halls of residence.
And then a kaleidoscopic performance from Mexico – first, the Aztec warriors
And later, the Day of the Dead, with yet more dramatic costumes, and the castle appropriately lit up as a backdrop.
Then it was back to the US, this time the Air Force Honour Guard Drill Team, who did such amazing precision handling of their rifles I was so entranced that I didn’t get around to taking any video, sorry!
There were, of course, plentiful Highland dancers
And Batton twirling
The Batton performer on the right was a woman, and much to her chagrin she managed to drop the Batton during the performance. The crowd got right behind her though, and she picked it up again in true professional style. I was most amused, then, to be sitting outside the hotel the following day and finding myself treated to her practice routine (yes, she dropped it again – shhhhh. Not while I was filming).
And then there was the amazing Top Secret Drum Corp from Switzerland – I only filmed a couple of short pieces, but I can assure you they were spellbinding
There were several other performances, including the New Zealand Army Band, and the traditional Lone Piper on the Castle Ramparts, before all the performers came together for the finale
I hope you’ve enjoyed your taster menu from The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.