May 31, 2007

Elizabeth II fetes Grampian Police at Balmoral

Queen Elizabeth II listens to the Grampian Police perform at Balmoral, May 27, 2007, in honour of the band's centenary. Click to supersize!When someone turns 100 Queen Elizabeth II always sends a letter of congratulations, but when a pipe band in the backyard of her summer home turns 100 she meets them in person.

The Grade 2 Grampian Police Pipe Band marked its centenary year with a performance on Sunday, May 27, before the Queen on the lawn of Balmoral Castle. She made a special visit to Balmoral for the event on her way back from Crathie Kirk.

The band, which began in 1907 as the Aberdeen Police, was bestowed with the Queen’s “Royal seal of approval,” as was the new tartan that the band unveiled at the event, moving from its Black Stewart kilts that it had worn since 1965.

Grampian Police performs on the lawn of Balmoral Castle. Click to supersize!“It was a great honour for us to play for the Queen during such a special year,” said Grampian Police Pipe-Major Drew Sinclair. “This, coupled with the launch of our new tartan, made it a great event.”

The band played for the Queen for 20 minutes, Grampian Police Chief Constable Colin McKerracher sitting with her. “The pipe band is a real credit to the Force. The Queen told me that she enjoyed the music and liked the new tartan. This has been a very special occasion for the Force and we are indebted to those who formed the band 100 years ago,” McKerracher commented.

According to the band, the new tartan was “designed to produce a modern and contemporary tartan which retained a traditional military feel. In keeping with this, [we] used the original tartan, Hunting Gordon, as a starting point.”

As part of the May 27 event at Balmoral, the new Grampian Police tartan and the band were given the Royal seal of approval by the Queen. Click to supersize!“It was important for us to celebrate 100 years of music and tradition,” Sinclair continued. “The Force Executive gave us a great opportunity to mark the occasion and allowed us to develop a tartan that reflects our proud past as much as it represents our future.”

The band also recently launched a new version of its website.


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