By Christine Lavelle
PREPARATIONS for this year’s Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo got underway today, when all 1,000 performers came together for a rehearsal.
Now in its 60th year, 2010 marks the Diamond Jubilee of the celebrated event, which will welcome talent from all over the world – including pipers, gymnasts, singers, highland dancers, and a motorcycle display team.
Her Royal Highness Princess Anne arrived at the rehearsal to show her support as the Royal Patron for the event.
She stayed to watch performers, before stopping to speak to members and families of the Armed Forces.
The Tattoo will officially begin on Friday 6 August, running until the end of the month, held in the grounds of Edinburgh Castle.
Major General Euan Loudon, chief executive and producer of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, said: “As it is our 60th birthday, the celebrations need to be bigger and better than ever, people should expect a big traditional performance, as well as an emphasis on music from all four corners of the globe.
“I always look forward to the big finale with the lone piper – and what is extra special about this year is that the young man playing the lone bagpipe is the son of the man who did it 60 years ago when the Tattoo was in its first year.
“For someone who has been involved with the Tattoo for 52 years, it still manages to make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.”
Major General Loudon said he was very pleased to have Princess Anne’s support at the rehearsal.
He said: “It’s lovely to have her here; she came along three years ago to watch the big rehearsal and really enjoyed herself.
“This year is even better though, so I imagine the smile on her face will be much bigger.
“We are really doing things on a grand scale this time round – visitors to the Tattoo should expect fireworks and a lot of sparkle.”
In addition to the Military Bands of the British Army, performers have come together from Jordan, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.