Sunday, September 15th, 2019.
It was a fine September day for the 2019 Riding of the Marches when more than 20,000 spectators witnessed hundreds of horses processed up the Royal Mile, in Edinburgh, for the tenth year since the event’s revival – and Alan Carr of the War Horse Memorial and our special guests were there to enjoy the spectacle.
It is all part of the re-enactment of the journey taken by the Captain of the Trained Band (responsible for keeping order in the city) to tell of the tragic news of the defeat at Flodden in 1513, but also a way of checking the boundaries or marches of the city to ensure that all citizens are well.
At the Mercat Cross the Rt Hon Lord Provost Frank Ross, his Bailies and The Incorporated Trades of Edinburgh who join the cavalcade on the Royal Mile with the Lord Dean of Guild and the Deacon-Convener of Trades, all in their full robes and chains of office. They were preceded in a walking procession down from the City Chambers to John Knox’s House by the High Constables.
Upon arrival at the Mercat Cross, the Edinburgh Captain dismounted and ascended the Mercat Cross, accompanied by the Edinburgh Lass.The Lord Provost extended his welcome to the riders and spectators. The Edinburgh Captain then lowered the City Banner from the Mercat Cross, followed by the Blue Blanket, all the flags of the Incorporate Trades of Edinburgh, The Merchants of Edinburgh and the Edinburgh Exiles, during which a bugler played the Last Post.
The assembled crowd was then invited to observe a one-minute silence for the fallen of Flodden and all wars. To complete the mark of respect, the bugler played ‘Reveille’, the flags were raised and the Captain delivered a short speech, declaring the boundaries of the City of Edinburgh to be safe and intact. He then presented the Lord Provost with the City Banner, unsullied and unstained. The event then concluded and the riders departed, heading to the ‘Three Sisters Bar’ in the Canongate for the famous ‘After Party’.
The Marches Committee have been busy selling purple poppy badges to help raise funds to support this important annual event. We are indebted to the Lord Provost and the team for including us once again in this truly wonderful day.