Our chief the Marquis of Huntly had the great honour of welcoming the Queen on a surprise private visit to the Aboyne Highland Games this year. Her Majesty, who was enjoying her annual holiday at nearby Balmoral, itself a former Gordon seat, visited to mark the 150th anniversary of the Games. She blessed the fearsomely heavy new ‘Aboyne Caber’ with a quaich of whisky and was introduced to members of the Chief’s family, other local clan chiefs, and members of the Games committee.
The visit was the Queen’s first, and indeed the first ever by a reigning monarch, although Edward VII attended in 1873 while still Prince of Wales. The Aboyne Games are very much the ‘Gordon’ games, held on the village green in Aboyne in Aberdeenshire, near the seat of our chief at Aboyne Castle. They pride themselves on being the ‘traditional’ games, with the banners of local families surrounding the arena, the spectacle of the massed pipe bands, and the inclusion of clan tents, where people can go to learn about their family heritage.
The House of Gordon tent welcomed a number of visitors throughout the day, with whisky in plentiful supply and a display of photographs of Gordon castles on show to visitors. The games are always held on the first Saturday in August, and attract thousands to the scenic village of Aboyne.