Prince Charles officially opened Scotland’s largest ever highland games today at The Gathering in Edinburgh’s Holyrood Park.
The massive two-day event has been hailed as the greatest international clan gathering in the world, with over 124 different clans from all over the world in attendance.
With Camilla at his side, Charles, as Patron of the Gathering, launched the "most splendid of gatherings" with a speech peppered with poetry and musings on the millions of Scots spread amongst the world.
Reflecting on the changing face of clan culture in the Scotland, the Prince of Wales commented: "Thankfully in 2009 the lives of clan chiefs and their clansmen, both in Scotland and abroad, are somewhat less blood-soaked and unhappy than those experienced by thousands of their ancestors."
He continued: "I happen to believe that it is Scotland's traditions of writing, language, speech, music and poetry which will continue to nourish this and future generations."
Charles, or the Duke of Rothesay as he is known officially in Scotland, also paid tribute to the thousands of ex-pats who had made the journey for the occasion.
Many of the folk in attendance had journeyed from countries where the Scottish society is celebrated in far greater numbers, and the Gathering is regarded as an historic opportunity for all the Scottish clans to focus on their survival and future.
Approximately 50,000 people will have attended the event over the weekend, enjoying the heavy events, piping and dancing, as well as a flavour of some of the nation's food, drink, crafts and textiles.