King Charles III was presented with the Honours of Scotland yesterday, July 5, and pipers from The National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland were part of the The National Service of Thanksgiving and Dedication at St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh.
The Honours of Scotland, the country’s crown jewels, are The Elizabeth Sword which was borne by Dame Katherine Grainger DBE, The Sceptre which was borne by Lady Dorrian, Lord Justice Clerk, and The Crown borne by The Duke of Hamilton and Brandon.
For many centuries, these regalia have been used at ceremonial occasions in Scotland, though the Elizabeth Sword was commissioned in 2022 as it was decided the Scottish Sword of State, given by Pope Julius II to King James IV of Scotland, was too fragile to be used.
The pipers who played in the ceremony were chosen from The National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland and the BMus Traditional Music – Piping degree course, both of which are run by The National Piping Centre. In the first performance Charlie Mack (Junior Band) and Emma Hill (Senior Band and Honours Year Student) played the Royal party out of the Great Hall with the tune Return of the Stone by Maj Gavin Stoddart Retd, and then Lewis Russell (Senior Band), Hazel Whyte (Senior Band and Honours Year Student), Callum Kaye (Honours Year Student) and Thomas Fallon (Junior Band) processed through to the drawbridge of Edinburgh Castle playing The Green Hills of Tyrol, When The Battle is Over and Lochanside, for this key moment in this celebration of Their Majesties’ Coronation.
These pipers are from across the Junior Band and Senior Band of The National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland, the national youth programme for pipers and drummers aged 10-25, and the BMus Traditional Music – Piping degree course, which is a four year performance programme from The National Piping Centre and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
The National Piping Centre has had royal patronage almost since its inception, and was officially opened in 1998 by His Majesty, who was Patron as Prince of Wales, who also visited on as part of the 10th anniversary celebrations in 2008.