Pipers from some of Scotland's best-known regiments will not be performing in this year's Edinburgh Military Tattoo because of the war in Iraq.
The tattoo is in its 53rd year
Event organisers admitted that about 50 band
members from the Black Watch and the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards will be absent
from the show.
But marketing manager Alan Smith said that this year's Tattoo would
feature a tribute to absent troops taking part in the coalition campaign to oust
"Currently, it does appear that they are unlikely to be available during the
summer," he said.
"Even if they are released from activities in the Gulf soonish, they shall
probably require some time to relax and spend time with their families.
"But we have a number of options for replacing them and we will release the
details of the complete line-up nearer the show."
The pipers are thought to be acting as administrators and medical orderlies in
Iraq rather than performing.
Mr Smith predicted that this year's tattoo, which runs for 25 performances between August 1 and 23, would be particularly stirring because of the war.
He added: "I think there is no question that it will mark in some way the Gulf war, but I think it would be unwise to give anything else away at
Seats for the event are still available but Mr Smith said 10% more tickets have already been sold than at the same time last year.