As part of the celebrations to mark 50 years since their establishment, today the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (SCOTS DG) set off from the Esplanade at Edinburgh Castle and paraded down the Royal Mile, led by mounted troops and accompanied by their world famous Pipes & Drums, the Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, Jackal vehicles and a veterans contingent.
Crowds of Edinburgh natives and tourists watched the regiment parade and spontaneous applause broke out as the troops marched by. At the City Chambers the parade gave an eyes left and saluted the Deputy Colonel-in-Chief, His Royal Highness Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent.
Following the parade the soldiers went on to participate in a Drumhead religious service in the Grounds of the Palace of Holyroodhouse with the Duke of Kent.
The SCOTS DG, Scotland’s senior and only regular cavalry regiment, are celebrating their 50th anniversary with a series of events. The regiment’s long and illustrious heritage dates back to 1678, when three independent troops of dragoons were raised at the House of the Binns, Linlithgow by General Thomas ‘Bluidy Tam’ Dalyell. The current regiment was formed through an amalgamation of the Royal Scots Greys and the 3rd Carabiniers at Holyrood Park in Edinburgh on 2nd July 1971.
During the last 50 years, the SCOTS DG have deployed on several operations, including four tours of Northern Ireland, the Gulf War in 1991, NATO missions in Bosnia and Kosovo, and laterally in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The SCOTS DG are now based in Leuchars in Scotland and are equipped with Jackal and Coyote vehicles for their role as Light Cavalry.
The regiment’s recent commitments include Operation Cabrit, the UK contribution to NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence mission in Poland and the Baltic states. In 2019-20, during Operation Rescript, the regiment supported NHS Scotland with COVID-19 testing and vaccination programmes from the outset of the pandemic until February this year.
This summer the regiment successfully completed its validation training on Salisbury Plain as a combined arms Light Cavalry battlegroup; it now stands ready to serve the nation across a range of tasks, from supporting national resilience to major combat operations.
This parade does not mark the end of the SCOTS DG celebrations. Later in the year they will tour around Northern Scotland in Jackal vehicles, something that harks back to tours that took place in in previous years by the antecedent units, at that time mounted on white horses.