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Couple gets up close with royalty at The Gathering in Scotland to mark Robert Burns 250th

A Brentwood couple got the chance to be up close and almost personal with Prince Charles and wife Camilla in late July during Homecoming Scotland, The Gathering.

During 2009, Scotland is celebrating the 250th anniversary of Robert Burns' birth and other contributions that Scotland has made to the world. Michael Ann and Don Robinson included the event as part of a two-week visit to the United Kingdom. The Robinsons are not unfamiliar with the peerage, since the late 1990s when their daughter Carol married Hugh Montgomerie, also known as Hugh, Lord Montgomerie. His parents are Archibald George Montgomerie, 18th Earl of Eglinton, and Marion Carolina Dunn-Yarker, the Countess of Eglinton and Winton. Hugh Montgomerie was able to join his
in-laws for a few days while Carole and their three children

The Gathering was the idea of another of the Robinsons’ friends, Lord Jamie Sempill, and held on the grounds of Edinburgh’s Holyrood Castle July 25-26. News reports indicate representatives from 40 countries and 140 clans.
"It is reconnecting to our heritage and to our culture and showing all the people that may have a rather ambivalent to it that really does have merit and really has meaning to those who are coming here," Sempill was quoted as saying by

Before heading to the UK, the Robinsons let Sempill know they were coming and he made an interesting offer to Michael Ann, an accomplished shutterbug.

“I wrote Jamie telling him that we were coming and told him how involved I had become with photography since we last saw each other. His reply was to ask me to take pictures of him during the games. In other words, be his photographer,” Michael Ann said. “He would have a media pass for me when I got there. I was told that part of his day would be a ‘meeting’ with Prince Charles in private quarters but he did not think that I would be able to photo that because of really strict rules from the palace. Long story short, I did get in for the end of the meeting.”

Also during the event, the Robinsons got to see highland athletic games, which included such primitive tests of strength as tug-of-wars, hammer throws and an event called the “Placing of the Stone.” The reigning champ of the competition, Sean Betz from the United States, finished second overall in the heavy games.

“The weekend’s celebrations in Holyrood Park united more than 47,000 people from at least 40 countries around the world, with an additional 20,000 lining the Royal Mile to watch 8,000 people marching with their clan and the pipes and drums on Saturday evening,” Sempill said.

“The weekend exceeded our wildest expectations. The ambience and great sense of occasion was created by the people who joined us for this celebration of Scotland’s culture, clans and families.”

Posted on: 8/26/2009


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