Highland Games Corps Gets ‘Royal’ Prefix After Queen Approval

The Mey Highland & Cultural Games at the John O’Groats Showground in Caithness in 2019

The Highland games governing body added the prefix “royal” to its title after the name change was approved by the Queen, organizers said.

The Scottish Highland Games Association is now to be known as the Royal Scottish Highland Games Association (RSHGA), in a move that “recognizes a thousand years of tradition,” said President Iain Watt.

The Prince of Wales – or the Duke of Rothesay as he is known in Scotland – is the boss of the organization and recorded a video message supporting the games last month following the cancellation of events at the nationwide for the second year due to the pandemic.

Ballater Highland Games
Charles attends the Ballater Highland Games at Monaltrie Park (Andrew Milligan / PA)

Charles said it was a “source of great sadness” to learn that the games were being phased out “as a person who has had the joy of attending the Highland games and gatherings since childhood.”

Mr Watt said: ‘Although much of the origins are lost in the dawn of time, it is often said that Scottish King Malcolm started things in the 11th century with competitions to find the fastest runners, the strongest throwers and the best pipers.

“The Highland Games have since enjoyed strong royal relationships, including annual visits to the Braemar Gathering.”

The RSHGA was established in 1947 and is made up of members from 60 events in Scotland, from small local games to large ones such as the Braemar Gathering, as well as several overseas affiliates.

It has 400 athletes, in addition to hundreds of dancers, pipers and drummers, taking part in more than 1,000 competitions, held across Scotland in front of 300,000 spectators, many from abroad, each year, organizers said.

Notable events include the Caber Throw, Hammer Throw, and Tug.

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Jennifer R. Strohm

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