The Queen in the robes of the Order of the Thistle, Scotland’s highest order of chivalry

On this, her Official Birthday, Clan Hay sends congratulations and warmest good wishes to Her Majesty The Queen on a unique anniversary.  Although it was on 6 February 1952 that she succeeded to the throne, it is across a four day weekend from 2 to 5 June that her Platinum Jubilee will be celebrated.

The Queen’s actual birthday falls on 21 April.  The tradition of the Official Birthday was established in 1901 by her great-grandfather King Edward VII.  His birthday was in late November, and he decided, due to the uncertain British weather at that time of year, that the historic national celebration of the Sovereign’s birthday should take place in the summer.

The Queen has several family connections to Clan Hay.  Unsurprisingly these are mainly to be found via her Scottish mother, the late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, originally Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon and a daughter of the 14th Earl of Strathmore, of Glamis Castle in Angus.  She is directly descended from John, second Lord Hay of Yester, who was killed at the Battle of Flodden in 1513.  His daughter Elizabeth married the fifth Lord Saltoun, and their daughter, also Elizabeth, wed the eighth Lord Glamis.  Through that connection, Clan Hay commissioner Malcolm Hay of Seaton is The Queen’s 13th cousin once removed.  She is also a fifth cousin twice removed to the Earl of Erroll, Chief of Clan Hay, as both are descended from King George III, who died in 1820.

The Jubilee weekend began on the morning of Thursday 2 June with the traditional ceremony of Trooping the Colour, where the Duke of Rothesay took the salute on The Queen’s behalf.  It is noteworthy that His Royal Highness, at this very ‘London’ event, acknowledged Scotland by wearing the cordon of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, as he did a few weeks earlier at the State Opening of the United Kingdom parliament.  The same gesture to Scotland was made by the two Royal Colonels on parade, both themselves Knights of the Thistle, the Earl of Strathearn and the Princess Royal.

A host of celebratory events will take place throughout the country over the next four days, as we commemorate Her Majesty’s seven decades’ service to Scotland.  A centrepiece of this activity will be Diu Regnare – ‘Long to Reign’ – a new 6.8 pipe march composed for the Jubilee by Pipe Major Stuart Liddell and organised by Clan Hay member Lady Jane MacRae.  At 2.35 pm, Stuart will lead pipers at every corner of the world in playing this tune, from Inveraray Castle and with the Inveraray and District Pipe Band, of which he is pipe major.  At the same time, Jane MacRae will play the tune from Aberdeen’s medieval cathedral of St Machar, and our treasurer Pam Rotheroe-Hay will play it with the Ballater Pipe Band at Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire.  Later, at 9.45 pm, the tune was played again at locations all over the land, including one (pictured) by our commissioner, Malcolm Hay of Seaton, at Edinglassie, his Aberdeenshire estate.  South of the border, our Chief the Earl of Erroll will light the beacon at Moggerhanger Park, one of the family estates of his late wife, Isabelle, Countess of Erroll.