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Updated 05/21/2020

 


Braemar Highlanders

Braemar is a village in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, around 58 miles west of Aberdeen in the Highlands. The Gaelic Brigh Mhrr properly refers to the area of upper Marr (as it literally means), i.e. the area of Marr to the west of Aboyne, the village itself being Castleton of Braemar (Baile a' Chaisteil). The village used to be known as Cinn Drochaid (bridge end). The modern village sits over the Clunie Water, a strategically important crossing on the Elsick Mounth, an ancient trackway used by Picts and Romans.

According to legend, Malcolm III came to the area in around 1059, and built a timber bridge connecting the east and west banks. The ruins are considered to be largely of 14th-century origin, replacing the presumed timber-construction of the original castle.

Known colloquially as The Games and originating from those believed to have been held by Malcolm III, an annual Highland Games Gathering is held at Braemar on the first Saturday in September and is traditionally attended by the British Royal Family.

In 1746, the Act of Proscription stopped all clan gatherings, but following its repeal in 1782, the old enthusiasms for such events returned. About 1826, the Braemar Highland Society was created; the first modern-day games taking place in 1832. On September 14, 1844 Queen Victoria attended the gathering at Invercauld. In 1866, Royal was added to Braemar Highland Society and in 1906, the Duke of Fife presented 12 acres of Mar Estate to the Society and The Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park, the current home of the Braemar Gathering, was created.

Since Queen Victoria's time, the reigning monarch has been the patron of the Braemar Royal Highland Society.