The Royal Mile is one of the most famous streets in Europe's capital cities. It has witnessed Royal processions, public executions and riots. Every notable figure in Scotland's rich history has walked on this street. This will be the first time that all the clans have paraded from the royal Palace of Holyrood up to the Edinburgh Castle esplanade. A true distance of 1 mile and 107 yards, a climb of 560 feet from the bottom to the top.
The parade will be divided into sections with each section being led by a pipe band. Clans people will parade in alphabetical order and will be preceded by their chiefs and commanders with the clan banners.
Lord Sempill, co-director of The Gathering, welcomed the Prince and the Duchess of Cornwall, known as the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay when in Scotland, to "the greatest international gathering of the clans".He said: "We are delighted and honoured that Their Royal Highnesses are joining us for this magnificent celebration."It is the first time in more than 200 years that all the Scottish clans have converged.They are meeting in Holyrood Park for a chance to retrace their roots, meet clan chiefs and watch the largest Highland Games to be held in Scotland.Around 125 clan chiefs from all corners of the globe are attending, some travelling from as far away as Tasmania.Clanspeople Patrick Colquhoun and his wife Julie, from Arkansas, say they would not have missed the opportunity to attend."It's all about history. The love of history, the love of family, the love of country and to have everyone together for the first time in 200 years," they said."It is quite an historic occasion, just to be here and be part of The Gathering in 2009."On the surface it might seem to be all smiles and politeness, but there are still deep rivalries among some clans.Organisers are ensuring that old enemies, such as the Campbells and the MacDonalds, are being kept firmly apart.The Gathering director Jenny Gilmour says any rivalry should be good-humoured."The ties that bind are really strong for Scots around the world."There is obviously the romantic sense of Scotland's unique history and culture. So they're coming to engage with that and also to engage with Scots at home."
The Gathering is one of the main events in Scotland's Year of Homecoming, which marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns.