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The Queen attends 200th anniversary Braemar Gathering days before her own historic milestone

Just a few days shy of making history when she becomes the longest reigning British monarch, The Queen attended the Braemar Gathering in Scotland. The Duke of Edinburgh and The Duke of Rothesay, as Charles in styled in Scotland joined Her Majesty.

The event, just like Her Majesty is celebrating a milestone for the history books. 2015 marks the 200th anniversary of the games society.

The Braemar Games, of which the Queen is Patron, take place on the first Saturday of September at the Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park, a short distance from the Balmoral estate.

Attended by members of the Royal Family, the event has a long-standing tradition of attendance dating back to 1848, when Queen Victoria attended.

Over 100 men retraced the steps of their ancestors as they travel from Donside to Royal Deeside marking the bicentenary of the Braemar Royal Highland Society which was formed in 1815.

The group of Lonach Highlanders and the Lonach Pipe Band marched 14 miles to Braemar Castle and camped overnight before attending on Saturday.

The games are the most well-known Highland Games in Scotland and showcase some of the finest athletes, pipe bands and Highland dancers.

Historians believe that the Braemar Gathering in Scotland began during the 11th century when King Malcolm Canmore visited Braemar. The Programme of Events was vastly different of course than the present day. The activities in the 11th century likely included games of strength, endurance and bravery as well as hunting and various skills showcasing the skills perhaps used in battle.

Present day’s events do not showcase the rather barbarous and perilous games of the past.

The modern Braemar Games include activities such as Highland Dancing, hammer throwing, races, leap contests, children’s games and the infamous Scottish event of “Tossing the Caber.” The caber is a straight, 5-metre-long log that tossed by a thrower. The object of the game is not the length of the throw but rather to have the caber fall straight away from the thrower after landing.

Prizes for the various activities range from £8 to £400.

Last year, Her Majesty attended the games with the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales.

Photo credit: Erik via Flickr

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