A SCORE of proud Scottish gingers soared into the skies yesterday on a special redhead flight.
Twenty flame-haired passengers and crew, hoping to set an official world record for most gingers on a plane, boarded the special flight in Inverness to jet out to the Netherlands.
On-board revelers were heading to the annual Redhead Days festival in the city of Breda, where thousands of fellow gingers are expected to gather over the weekend.
The ginger army was led by a royal impersonator, Roddy Walker, who is better known as ‘Prince Harry’.
And it wasn’t just youngsters who were striking a blow for ginger pride: one of Scotland’s oldest redheads, Margaret Swan, hopped on board at the grand old age of 95.
The gingers gathered in the Inverness airport lounge to wait for the Flybe aircraft – as other passengers looked on bemused at the redheaded invasion.
The waiting passengers were serenaded by singer Caroline England, a Liverpudlian who is so proud of her red hair she wrote a song about it.
Dozens of heads of red hair ruffled in the Highland breeze as the passengers clambered on board the plane before taking their seats and being treated to free alcoholic ginger beer.
“Prince Harry” – also known as Roddy Walker from Perthshire – said: “You know a lot of people get a bit of stick for their hair colour but it’s only a bad thing if you let it be.
“I was lucky enough to turn my fortune around and make a pretty successful career around it. If it wasn’t for my hair I wouldn’t have been able to meet some of the people I’ve met or seen the places I’ve been.”
The 26-year-old added: “It’s fantastic to be a part of a record attempt so I’m more than happy to lead the gang.”
Not to be left out of the action, even a red-headed flight crew was specially assembled for the flight.
Captain Gaeron Kayley, 40, from Exeter, Devon, said: “I’ve never had this many red heads on one of my flights before so it’s really an honour.
“We’ve brought our crew from around the country to make sure that we’re a part of the record too and I really hope that people will consider going to the festival in the future.”
And 95-year-old Margaret Swan, from Dumfries, said the day was “fantastic good fun.”
Katie O’ Brien, the youngest flame-haired flier at 16, said: “I’m so excited to be taking part in the record setting attempt. It’s so different and unique but I think it’s a really worthwhile cause.”
Katie, from Easter Kinkell, Black Isle, added: “At school, particularly first and second year, it was really quite difficult being ginger sometimes.
“Your hair colour is the first thing that bullies pick out and they can be really quite cruel.
“But kids need to remember that there are loads of people out there who love the colour so its time we embraced it.”
Last month hundreds of gingers descended on Edinburgh, marching to end “gingerism” towards their people.
The militant army were led by Canadian funny man, Shawn Hitchins, who rallied the troops through the streets on August 10.
A love-lorn ginger student has also produced a documentary, showing the difficulties red-headed men face when trying to find love.
But after reliving horror stories from his youth, Scott Harris was left hopeful after finding a potential future with a fellow redhead.
Many Scottish celebrities sport the unusual hair colour including Ewan McGregor, Karen Gillan and of course groundskeeper Willie from the Simpsons.
The discrimination redheads face can be traced as far back as the middle ages.
Their typically pale skin and hair colour were thought to be the sign of being a witch, werewolf or vampire.
Red hair only occurs naturally in around 2% of the human population, but those native to the north see if happen more frequently.
It is estimated that around 13% of Scot’s are naturally ginger.
The mutant gene only appears in individual’s when two copies of a recessive gene lead to the mutation of the MC1R protein.