Plainstones and St Giles April 2024

Freedom of Moray for The Royal Regiment of Scotland

The Freedom of Moray is to be conferred on The Royal Regiment of Scotland (SCOTS) in a ceremony in Elgin on 8 June 2024.

In recognition of their service to Moray and the nation, the designation as Honorary Freemen of Moray confers the right to march with bayonets fixed, flags flying and pipes playing. All of which will be on display at the ceremony in June, which begins at 12noon, alongside the regimental mascot, Corporal Cruachan IV.

The Royal Regiment of Scotland was formed in 2006 through the amalgamation of Scotland’s historic infantry regiments to form a single fighting force. 5 SCOTS, Balaklava Company, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland is a rifle company of The Royal Regiment of Scotland and will accept the Freedom of Moray on behalf of The Royal Regiment of Scotland.

Forming up at the West End of Elgin High Street, the parade of 140 will be led by the Regiment’s Pipes and Drums and Corporal Cruachan IV to the Plainstones where the Lord Lieutenant of Moray will take the salute and Moray Council’s Civic Leader will present the Freedom of Moray. Colonel of The Royal Regiment of Scotland, Major-General Robin Lindsay, will respond before the choir of Greenwards Primary School sing for the gathered crowd. The soldiers will then march to the East End of the High Street where the parade will end.

Speaking ahead of the event, Moray Council’s Civic Leader, Cllr John Cowe, said: “We very much look forward to conferring the Freedom of Moray on The Royal Regiment of Scotland, who dedicate their lives to our protection and safety. It’s just one more way we can show our appreciation for the service our military forces give us.

“There will be displays on the Plainstones from the infantry community liaison team ahead of the parade and I hope to see folk turn up in great numbers to witness this spectacle rarely seen in Moray.”

Colonel of The Royal Regiment of Scotland, Major General Robin Lindsay, commented: “It is a tremendous honour for our Regiment to receive the Freedom of Moray.  Not only does it recognise our role in protecting our nation it reinforces and maintains our strong links with the people of Moray who have supported us, and our antecedent regiments, so well throughout history.  That support remains invaluable to our soldiers and their families particularly when deployed overseas and for which we will be forever grateful.” 

Lord Lieutenant of Moray, Major General Seymour Monro, added: “There’s something very moving about seeing a troop of soldiers marching with bayonets fixed and proudly carrying their battle honours and colours. It will be an honour to take the salute from them on the day as we offer the Freedom of our great county.”

Lord Lieutenant of Banffshire, Mr Andrew Simpson, finished: “By conferring the freedom of Moray on the Royal Regiment of Scotland there is a clear demonstration of the value in which we hold all who are currently serving as well as the importance of the work of the regiment in our contemporary world.

“For generations men and women from the historic counties of Banffshire and Moray have enrolled to serve their country and monarch in the armed services. Bestowing the freedom of Moray on the successor to the historic local regiments also reflects the appreciation we place on the contributions of our veterans both those still living and those who have passed away.”

The Queen’s Own Highlanders; The Gordon Highlanders; RAF at Lossiemouth and the former RAF Kinloss are previous recipients of the Freedom of Moray. The Highlanders (Seaforth, Gordons and Camerons) had the right to exercise the Freedom of Moray.

Moray is also home to C Company, 7 SCOTS (formerly 25/1 Highland Volunteers), 39 Engineer Regiment at Kinloss and the Army Cadet Force.

Previous individual recipients of the Freedom of Moray include Mr Gordon Baxter (2008), Heather Stanning (2016) and Grenville Johnston, previous Lord Lieutenant of Moray (2019).

Please note, road closures will be in place on the High Street for a short time before and after the ceremony. Keep up-to-date with details online.

Contact Information

Moray Council Press Office