Why Tartan Makes A Great Royal Tribute
With summer morphing into autumn, many people will be thinking of investing in some rugs and cushions to add some warmth and cosiness to their living rooms. The question many will ask is whether there is a particular theme to go for.
Some may find that theme right now in the events that occurred at Balmoral in recent days, as Queen Elizabeth II passed away. Her death at the age of 96 has been a tumultuous event for Britain, even as the handover to her son, the new King Charles, has happened speedily and without a hitch, an event that has been prepared for over many years.
The fact that Her Majesty should pass away at the Scottish retreat where she spent her summers may provide the answer: perhaps now a bit of tartan should be the order of the day.
Although there is a specific Balmoral Tartan, designed by Prince Albert and specifically reserved for the royal family to wear, there are of course many other tartans that have been worn by the royals and those around them in the area close to Balmoral, known as Royal Deeside.
It is not just that the royals should be patrons of the Highland games and fans of much of the area’s produce; they helped make Tartan not just acceptable, but popular again after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert purchased Balmoral in the 1850s by freely wearing its colours and patterns, including in kilts.
This reversed the previous official banning of ‘Highland dress’ after the Jacobite defeat in the Battle of Culloden in 1746, which was not quite an outright ban on tartan, but made unacceptable the kind of garb that the royals were to bring back a century later. Several royal tartans have subsequently been created down the years.
While the tartan patterns your new furnishings have may not be royal, the fact is that the monarchs and their families who resided at Balmoral helped revive a style that might otherwise have faded into history.