is a large estate house situated in the area of
known as Royal Deeside. The estate was purchased by Queen
and remains a favorite summer royal residence.
The Balmoral Estate began as a home built by Sir William
Drummond in 1390. The estate was formerly owned by King Robert
II (1371–1390), who had a hunting lodge in the area.
Drummond, the estate was sold to Alexander Gordon, the 3rd Earl
of Huntly, in the 15th century. The estate remained in the
family's hands until it was sold in 1662 to the Farquharsons of
Invery, who sold the estate in 1798 to the 2nd Earl of Fife. The
estate formed part of the coronation activities of King George
IV in 1822.
Balmoral is today best known as a royal residence, the summer
retreat of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh. The
history as a royal residence dates back to 1848, when the house
was rented to Queen
Victoria and Prince Albert by the trustees of Sir Robert
Gordon. They very much enjoyed their stay in the house, and
they paid just over £30,000 for full ownership in 1852.
immediately started making plans with William Smith to extend
the existing 15th century castle, and make a "new" and bigger
castle fit for the royal family.
PM George Stoddart, BEM
Pipe Major George Stoddart, BEM,
was born in 1912 in Leith, near Edinburgh. He enlisted in
the 2nd Battalion The Cameron Highlanders at age 14 as a boy
piper and remained with them until shortly before the start of
World War II, when he transferred to the Royal Scots Fusiliers
as Pipe Major. He also served as Pipe Major with the 5th
Scottish Parachute Regiment during the War and was also with the
Liverpool Scottish for a short time.
After the War, he was posted to
Edinburgh as the Lowland Brigade Pipe Major and worked closely
with Pipe Major Willie Ross conducting the preliminary course
for potential pipe majors. When the Edinburgh Military Tattoo
started, he was the Lone Piper for many years and became known
as the ‘original lone piper’.
In 1959, he retired from the Army
and opened a shop with R.G. Hardie in the Lawnmarket just down
from Edinburgh Castle. During this time he founded the Eagle
Pipers’ Association which quickly became a well known and
respected piping organisation. He was a senior piping
adjudicator and was affectionally known as ‘Uncle George’.
He died in Edinburgh in 1990.