30 pictures that showcase the history of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

As the Royal Edinburgh kicks off for another year, we take a look back at the event's rich history.

Wednesday, 31st July 2019, 2:19 pm
The Massed Pipes in 1951.

The Tattoo has a long and proud history which stretches back almost seven decades and was inspired by a production of 'Something About a Soldier' performed at the Ross Bandstand in 1949, after which it was decided a similar event should be created to run alongside the existing Edinburgh International Festival. The first ever Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo was held in 1950 and was produced by Lieutenant Colonel George Malcolm, who aimed to bring the Army's contribution to the Edinburgh International Festival to life. Since then it has been a highlight of the Festival calendar, with this year's performance falling under the theme 'Kaleidoscope', which promises audiences an exploration of colour, music and light, and was inspired by the optical invention created by Scottish physicist Sir David Brewster in 1816.

A highlight of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is the fireworks display.
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2019 will take place from 2 to 24 August against the backdrop of Edinburgh Castle

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Selkirk soldier, Trooper David Richardson, performed at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in 2010.
Australian Ozscot Highland dancers in 2004.
Club Piruett, world-class rhythmic gymnastics from Estonia's elite group.
The Queen's Colour Squadron of the Royal Air Force.
The Military Band of the People's Liberation Army of China.
Edinburgh Military Tattoo recording - Some of the bandsmen and recording technicians.
A performance during the 1963 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
Honour Guard formed by 4SCOTS The Highlanders.
Kalicia Robinscott from Trinidad and Tabago defence force steel orchestra and Alessandra Bruce-Fuoco of the Tattoo Dance company.
The Imps Motorcycle Display Team entertain the audience at the 2010 Royal Edinburgh Military Tatttoo.
Violinist, Rowena Macrae in 2004.
The Massed Military Bands and the Massed Pipes and Drums in 2004.
The Edinburgh Military Tattoo fireworks in 2007.
The Chinese P.L.A. Band in 2004.
Ratna Dovi and Chandan Devi from the J.N Manipur Dance Academy Ensemble rehearsing as part of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo in 2002.
The Pipes and Drums of the Royal Caledonian Society of South Australia in 2007
A light show reflected on the castle in 2011.
The Castle and The Massed Bands of the Tattoo in 2012
The Castle and The Massed Bands of the Tattoo in 2011.
Drummers from Top Secret Drum Corps stand firm whilst Dennis the Menace biker Brad McNicol flies through the air in 2012.
The Precision Display Guard of the Jordanian Armed Forces Contingent at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in 2010.
The Massed Pipes in 1951.
Edinburgh Military Tattoo Rehearsal, 1963
48th of Canada from Toronto at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo in 1963.
Lord Montgomery takes salute at Castle during the Edinburgh Military Tattoo in 1957.
Parachute regiment arrive in Waverley Station to take part in the 1962 Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
The 1959 grand finale of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle.
The 1963 Edinburgh Military Tattoo.