Crowds flock to Pitlochry Highland Games in honor of the Queen

The Pitlochry Highland Games took place on Saturday with dedications to Her Majesty who had great love for the events.

Under warm weather and clear skies, thousands of people gathered for the games which returned for the first time since the pandemic.

The games were also one of the few events to take place following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Game chief Charles Butter, whose mother had been a close friend of the Queen since childhood, said the decision to go ahead with the games was a difficult one.

Speaking to the Courier, Charles Butter said: ‘It was a difficult decision. We asked the family for advice and were given the green light to move forward here today.

Highland Games.” srcset=” 1440w,×180.jpg 270w,×564.jpg 847w,×511.jpg 768w,×372.jpg 559w,×84.jpg 126w,×48.jpg 72w” sizes=”(max-width: 1440px) 100vw, 1440px”/>
David Colthart Jr takes part in the caber toss event at Pitlochry Highland Games.

During her lifetime, the Queen regularly attended the Braemar Highland Games next to Balmoral Castle. It is well documented that she had a great love for the games as a patron and spectator.

Charles noted that not only was the Queen a huge fan of the games, but “King Charles is too”.

At 1:00 p.m., organizers, athletes and spectators all stood for a two-minute silence followed by a lone piper.

“We are extremely sad, like the whole nation.” Charles said.

“She meant a lot. It’s hard to say. We are extremely proud to honor Her Majesty and recognize that we have a new King.

Lone piper Donald McPhee plays in tribute to the Queen.
Lone piper Donald McPhee plays in tribute to the Queen.

Lone piper Donald McPhee said he was “very proud to be asked but also very sad”.

Spectators for the Pitlochry Highland Games came from all over the world, including Austria and Germany, as well as fans from North and South America.

Spectators were generally happy the games had not been cancelled, believing the event was a way to honor the Queen.

“If you had had the chance to ask her, she would have told you to go ahead,” said George Sanderland of Pitlochry.

Charles Butter, leader of the Pitlochry Highland Games.

“It wasn’t disrespectful at all,” said Matthew Stirling, owner of Mr Jolly’s funfair, who has supported the games for ten years.

“It’s wonderful to be back. We see a few of these Highland Games, but Pitlochry is by far the best.

“It was a tribute. The Queen wouldn’t have wanted it not to be cancelled.

The crowds enjoyed their day at the Pitlochry Highland Games.

The athletes brought their competitive spirit to every event. Stewart Anderson, who last won the Tossing of the Caber in 2019, again secured the top spot.

Afterwards, a ‘badly’ Stewart said ‘it was good to have the games back and the Queen was a great supporter’.

The Pitlochry Highland Games have been held every year since 1852, except for the last two years.

This year marked the 170th anniversary since its inception.

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[Crowds flock to Pitlochry Highland Games in honour of the Queen]


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Jennifer R. Strohm