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Princess watches rehearsal for Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

This year’s show pays tribute to the nation’s maritime heritage and the Royal Navy.

Hundreds of performers from across the globe have come together as rehearsals for the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo step up.

The cast of more than 1,200 united for a full run-through of the 68th annual show before it opens to audiences later this week.

The dress rehearsal at Edinburgh’s Redford Barracks was watched by the Princess Royal, patron of the Tattoo, who met with members of the international cast.

Brigadier David Allfrey, chief executive and producer of the Tattoo, said the royal visit was a “massive privilege” and promised audiences would have their “hearts in their mouth” during this year’s show.

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The Princess Royal attended the rehearsal (Jane Barlow/PA)

He said: “We’ve had a fantastic set of rehearsals this week, 1,200 cast members coming together on Sunday night for their first briefing, rehearsing Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and we now move to the Castle for the final set of rehearsals before we go public on Thursday night.

“I’m really looking forward to it, it’s amazing music, an amazing performance and frankly inspiring from so many of our performers, both military and civilian.

“They are all extraordinary experts. They are all masters of their own craft, but actually, when they come together from a production point of view, it’s pure recreation because they all feed off each other, they have great energy. There’s an awful lot of young people so you can feel the buzz just coming out of the cast.”

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Cast members at the rehearsal for the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo (Jane Barlow/PA)

The line-up includes more than 250 pipers and drummers, five UK military bands and the event’s first Japanese act, as well as major contingents from France, India and the United States.

This year, the show on Edinburgh Castle’s esplanade will pay tribute to the UK’s maritime heritage and the Royal Navy.

The Tattoo will also celebrate Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology by hosting more than 3,000 clansfolk from 57 clans across the 25 performances.

The 2017 theme Splash of Tartan is designed to reach out to the Scottish diaspora and everyone with a love of Scotland.

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