Regiment granted Freedom of Aberdeenshire

May 28, 2024
Pipers and drummers marching.

The Freedom of Aberdeenshire has been granted to The Royal Regiment of Scotland (SCOTS). 

The honour was bestowed on the Regiment in Peterhead on May 11. The Provost of Aberdeenshire, Councillor Judy Whyte, granted the official Freedom as part of a short ceremony.

Around 150 soldiers from the Regiment then paraded through the town, with Pipes and Drums and their Regimental mascot, the Shetland pony Corporal Cruachan IV.

Highland RFCA set up its gazebo as part of a community event held at Drummers Corner Shopping Centre in Peterhead town centre. A range of military and Veteran organisations as well as the Service Cadets were present at the main event.

HRFCA’s Northern Area Committee Vice Chair and Employer Representative Member as Aberdeenshire Council’s HR Manager, Glenda Gray, invited Regional Employer Engagement Director Ray Watt to attend the event. Aberdeenshire Council is an Armed Forces Covenant signatory and Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold Award holder.

Two people smiling behind teddy bear mascot
Glenda (left) and Ray with HRFCA’s mascot, Sergeant Major George.

Following Saturday’s events, the Regiment exercised its new freedom by parading the following day in Alford and Laurencekirk. The Regiment was joined at these parades by members of 2nd Battalion The Highlanders Army Cadet Force (ACF), as well as community representatives from the Scout movement.

Both the Sunday parades drew large crowds of appreciative onlookers. Colonel of The Royal Regiment of Scotland, Major General Robin Lindsay, was on hand to take the Salute accompanied by Provost Judy Whyte.

2nd Battalion The Highlanders Cadets.
2nd Battalion The Highlanders ACF Cadets form up following the Alford parade.

Soldier saluting.
Major General Robin Lindsay and Aberdeenshire Provost Judy Whyte take the salute as the troops pass through Alford.

Freedom of a Borough/County/City/Town is generally bestowed in recognition of the services of the Regiment, both in peace and war. In consideration of the high regard and esteem which the Regiment commands, the Council will generally vote to bestow its highest civic honour to the Regiment.  

In passing the resolution, the Provost and Councillors conferred upon the soldiers the Freedom of Aberdeenshire, recording for all time the appreciation, gratitude, and respect of the local citizens.

Deputy Provost of Aberdeenshire, Councillor Ron McKail, himself a Veteran, said: “This weekend of activity, despite being ceremonial, sends a strong message to our communities, that we support and appreciate the work of all of the Armed Forces. The Royal Regiment of Scotland has historically played an important role in Aberdeenshire.”