Edinburgh Zoo penguin given military honour

A highly decorated king penguin has been given a promotion in a special ceremony at Edinburgh Zoo.

Monday, 22nd August 2016, 3:02 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 6:32 pm
Nils Olav the penguin inspects the Guard of Honour formed by His Majesty the King of Norway's Guard. Picture; contributed

Resident king penguin Sir Nils Olav is an honorary member of the King of Norway’s Guard and gets to inspect the soldiers when they visit the Scottish capital.

Already a knight, the famous penguin has now been given the new title of Brigadier Sir Nils Olav.

The honour was bestowed upon the animal during a ceremony attended by more than 50 Norwegian soldiers from the unit.

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His Majesty the King of Norway's Guard. Picture; contributed

The troops are taking part in this year’s Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Barbara Smith, acting chief executive for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, said: “We are honoured to host His Majesty the King of Norway’s Guard as they bestow a prestigious new title upon our king penguin, Sir Nils Olav.

“It is a very proud moment and represents the close collaboration between our two countries, Scotland and Norway.”

During the ceremony, Sir Nils paraded along the zoo’s penguin walk, while inspecting the soldiers of the guard.

Nils Olav the penguin. Picture; contributed

Brigadier David Allfrey, producer and chief executive of the tattoo, added: “This is just a simply fantastic example of the great relations between our two countries and it couldn’t be a more charming tradition.

“At the tattoo we, of course, have many inspecting officers but this is by far my favourite. Congratulations, Brigadier Olav.”

His Majesty the King of Norway's Guard. Picture; contributed
Nils Olav the penguin. Picture; contributed