Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo pays tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth in show finale

Show will run at Edinburgh Castle esplanade for next three weeks.
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The late Queen Elizabeth is being honoured in the finale of this year’s Royal Edinburgh Military Tatttoo.

Images of the long-service monarch and her eldest son Charles, who immediately became King when his mother passed away last September, are beamed onto the facade of Edinburgh Castle during the National Anthem in the new show.

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The tributes were revealed for the first time in a sold-out preview of this year’s Tattoo, which saw Edinburgh Castle esplanade transformed by a string of spectacular new sequence.

The new show is launching weeks after King Charles visited Edinburgh for a national service of thanksgiving and dedication at St Giles’ Cathedral.

Limbo dancers, stilt-walkers, “electro-pipes” players, precision drill displays, Highland dancers and classic “American songbook” numbers all feature in the show.

Themes from Rocky, The Greatest Showman and How To Train Your Dragon are all performed in this year’s show, which also features a mash-up of Kool & the Gang’s 1980s classic Celebration and the 2019 Lizzo hit Juice, and music from the video games Battlefield and Final Fantasy.

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Visiting bands include the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force Steel Orchestra, the Swiss Armed Forces Central Band, King’s Guard Band and Drill Team of Norway and the Royal Air Force King’s Colour Squadron.

Highland dancing displays are a highlight of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty ImagesHighland dancing displays are a highlight of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Highland dancing displays are a highlight of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

The finale of the show, which runs until 26 August, also features epic renditions of songs by the Celtic rock bands Runrig and Tide Lines.

The preview was staged hours after the Princess Royal, the official patron of the event, met performers from the new production, which will run at the esplanade for the next three weeks.

Queen Elizabeth was a regular visitor to the Tattoo during her reign, including during her Golden Jubilee year in 2002, and bestowed the royal title on the event in 2010.

The Princess Royal has been patron of the event since 2006.

The finale of this year's Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty ImagesThe finale of this year's Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
The finale of this year's Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
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Writing in the official programme for this year’s show, she said: “There are very few settings for such an event which could have more stories to tell.

"So, before a note is played, I would encourage you to look at your surroundings, and reflect on the stories that have been played out under and within the walls of the castle.”

Buster Howes, chief executive of the Tattoo, said: “We are immensely proud of our royal status and the patronage of the Princess Royal, of our association with this great UNESCO World Heritage City and, each year, to be buskers beneath the castle ramparts of its mighty fortress.”Tattoo creative director Michael Braithwaite said: “Stories builds on our ‘Voices’ show of 2022 and promises a captivating celebration of connection through stories in all their forms.

“Most of all, Stories is a shared opportunity for audiences and performers to come together and experience an evening of unique and immersive entertainment.

The United States Air Force Band are among the acts taking part in the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo this year. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty ImagesThe United States Air Force Band are among the acts taking part in the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo this year. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
The United States Air Force Band are among the acts taking part in the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo this year. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
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“Stories is the next chapter in the modern era of the Tattoo, packed with the latest in cutting-edge technology, whilst combining the tradition and precision the show is known for and loved.

"It will be a truly memorable event and we are thrilled to be returning to Edinburgh Castle once more.“We cannot wait to share with audiences a show that is, at its heart, a celebration of individuals from many diverse backgrounds, united by common experiences.”

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