Five facts you (probably) didn't know about The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo


18 June 2018
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Find out about the history of The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo with these five fascinating facts.

Find out about the history of The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo with these five fascinating facts.

1. The word ‘tattoo’ comes from the closing-time cry in the inns in the Low Countries during the 17th and 18th centuries - ‘Doe den tap toe’ (‘Turn off the taps’).

2. The first lone piper was Pipe Major George Stoddart. He played in every performance for the first eleven years. His son, Major Gavin Stoddart, followed his father as lone piper at the Tattoo and became Director of Army Bagpipe Music for 12 years.

3. The Tattoo is set up and run for charitable purposes. Over the years, it has gifted some £10 million to service and civilian organisations.

4. The first overseas regiment to participate was the Band of the Royal Netherlands Grenadiers. The year was 1952, and there were also performers from Canada and France.

5. Hollywood movie producer Mike Todd, the fourth husband of film star Elizabeth Taylor, made a documentary programme on the Tattoo in 1950.

Read more facts in History of the Tattoo on the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo website.

Video: Build up to the excitement of The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

How to book tickets for the 2018 Royal Edinburgh Military Tatttoo

The 2018 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo runs from 3 to 25 August.

Visit the Tattoo website for performance dates and times or book directly:

  • Phone: +44 (0) 131 225 1188 (Monday to Friday 10.00am – 4.30pm) 

(image copyright Patrick Grieco)