The first great impact was to walk over the drawbridge and into the Castle precincts then up between the pipes and drums of the many bands, playing on either side of us on the ramparts, up close - a very emotional moment, on up the cobbles, past the Governor’s House and into Queen’s Court.
The Durie retinue of 70 were photographed together before entering the Great Hall. Here the Castle Sergeant-Major tried to drill us into order, two columns three abreast. The Tattoo producer and Chief Executive Brig. David Allfrey addressed us and the Chiefs welcomed their kinsmen and women. Then, led by our two pipers, the Chief and his sons carrying the Durie banner and shield we marched down hill to the drawbridge gate and into the dramatic impact of entering the esplanade: the spotlight on us as the two columns split, the Bruces with the Sword of Robert the Bruce escorted by the Elgin Regiment from Canada to the right and the Duries to the left.
The crowd cheered and the Tattoo narrator Alistair Hutton explained the families’ history and other anecdotes. Lined up on either side of the red carpet we faced each other as the US Marine Corps General Joe Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, the salute-taker for the night arrived was introduced to the two chiefs and then shared a ceremonial quaich with them and the Lone Piper. Then we dispersed to our seats and the 2017 ‘Splash of Tartan’ Tattoo began...
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