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Wednesday, 24 July, 2002, 15:46 GMT 16:46 UK
Crowning glory for Military Tattoo
Edinburgh Military Tattoo
The event has been running since 1950
The Queen will end her Golden Jubilee tour with her first visit to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo as monarch.

The programme for this year's event has a special theme to mark the 50th anniversary of her accession to the throne.

The details were unveiled on Wednesday as organisers predicted the most spectacular display in the history of the Tattoo.

Drummer
Performers from across the world will take part
The Queen will attend the event and take the salute on 5 August - bringing to a close a Jubilee tour which began back in May.

Edinburgh's Lord Provost Eric Milligan said: "Because of that we had to make a special effort to ensure that the Tattoo this year would be a more colourful spectacular.

"We think that this is the best Tattoo we have ever put on on the Castle Esplanade."

The event will run in the Scottish capital from 2 to 24 August.

It will feature 600 musicians and what is being described as the largest ever gathering of Highland dancers.

The 1,200-strong line-up is believed to be the largest cast ever assembled for the event.

It will include an Indian cultural group from Manipur; the Trompetterkorps Bereden Wapens from the Netherlands, who play musical instruments while riding bicycles; and the United States Marine Corps Albany Band.


The main pillar of the Tattoo is the massed pipes and drums, and that will be as big as it ever has been

Brigadier Melville Jameson
The grand finale paying tribute to the Queen will feature opera singer Joanna Heslop from New Zealand.

Tattoo producer Brigadier Melville Jameson said: "The main pillar of the Tattoo is the massed pipes and drums, and that will be as big as it ever has been - bigger, I suspect."

He said it would be "a pretty impressive sight" to watch the 13 bands - including almost 300 pipers and drummers - coming down the Esplanade.

"They will be playing a number of royal tunes amongst others, and also a tune which is dedicated to the Jubilee," he said.

Brigadier Jameson added that the event was on course for yet another sell-out despite a downturn in the number of visitors from the United States in the wake of 11 September.

Television audience

Their places have been taken by people from Europe and the UK.

Brigadier Jameson said 98.5% of the 217,000 tickets had already been sold.

The Tattoo will also be seen by a worldwide television audience estimated at 100 million.

The event, which began in 1950, is the Army's contribution to Edinburgh's International Festival.

The Queen last visited the Tattoo while she was still Princess Elizabeth.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Scotland's Fiona Walker reports
"It will be broadcast to more than 100 million people around the world"

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19 Jul 02 | Entertainment
21 Mar 02 | Entertainment
24 Jul 01 | Scotland
10 Mar 00 | Scotland
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