NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Queen attends landmark Braemar Gathering

Queen at Braemar

The Queen has been attending the Braemar Gathering on Royal Deeside.

The annual Highland Games event is held a short distance from the Royals' summer retreat on the Balmoral estate in Aberdeenshire.

This year's gathering marks the 200th anniversary of the society which runs it.

About 17,000 spectators were expected to cheer on competitors in the tossing of the caber and tug-of-war contests.

Image copyright PA

From Braemar, Nicholas Witchell, Royal correspondent

It's one of the fixtures in her summer diary: a visit to the Braemar Royal Highland Gathering.

She may be just a few days short of claiming Queen Victoria's record for the longest reign in British history but this Queen is not going to be diverted from her regular routine.

And so on a sunny afternoon in the Scottish Highlands, the Queen with her husband the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales took their seats in the special royal pavilion to watch cabers being tossed, hammers being thrown and tug of wars being contested, all to the strains of the dozen pipe bands which are attending the Gathering.

The Queen first attended the Braemar event as a seven-year-old child in 1933. She has attended virtually every year since coming to the throne in 1952.

Year after year it has been a reassuringly familiar event for her, an opportunity to relax with family and friends in a tranquil environment.

As she arrived the announcer reminded the crowds that in a few days her reign would be the longest of any British king or queen.

The crowds in Braemar celebrated the fact, just as many more elsewhere in the country will do in coming days.

Pipe bands and dancers are also performing to the crowd at the Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park.

The Queen was accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles and her eldest grandson Peter Phillips, and his wife Autumn.

Queen Victoria first attended Braemar in 1848 and since then it has been regularly visited by the reigning monarch and other members of the royal family.

Braemar Royal Highland Charity, which organises the event, said: "Every gathering is a memorable occasion and that of 2015 will be no exception."

Image copyright AFP
Image copyright AFP

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