Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Reel Of The Royal Scots

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

THE REEL OF THE ROYAL SCOTS (R8x32) 3C (4C set) Roy Goldring RSCDS Leaflet Dances 27

1- 4 1s ½ turn 2s on sides (1M RH - 1L LH) to 1s in centre BtoB facing out, 2s+1s+3s set
5- 8 1s ½ turn 3s on sides (1M LH - 1L RH) to 3s in centre BtoB facing out and 2s+3s+1s set
9-16 1s followed by 3s dance up between 2s, cast down 1 place; 1s dance down between 3s and cast up to 2nd place, 3s loop into 3rd place
17-24 1s turn 1st corners RH, pass partner RSh turn 2nd corners RH and cross passing partner RSh to 2nd place own sides
25-32 2s+1s+3s circle 6H round and back

(MINICRIB. Dance crib compiled by Charles Upton, Deeside Caledonian Society, and his successors)

The Reel of the Royal Scots
Roy Goldring SCD Leaflets
Reel 8 x 32 bars 3 Couple Repeat 4 Couple Set Longwise Set

  1-2   1L2L turn by the left halfway WHILE 1M2M turn by the right halfway, finishing in double triangles position;

  3-4   2s1s3s balance on the sides;

  5-6   1L3L turn by the right halfway WHILE 1M3M turn by the left halfway, finishing in double triangles position;

  7-8   2s3s1s balance on the sides;

  9-16 WHILE 3s cast to follow, 1s lead to the top, cast, lead down and cast up to 2nd place (3s finishing in own places);

17-20 1s turn first corners by the right and pass partner (right shoulder);

21-24 1s turn second corners by the right and pass partner (right shoulder) to finish in 2nd place on own sides;

25-32 2s1s3s 6 hands round and back.

(MAXICRIB. Scottish country dancing instructions compiled by Reuben Freemantle)

Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams

Dance Instruction Videos

The Reel Of The Royal Scots - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

This dance, The Reel Of The Royal Scots, was commissioned from the RSCDS and written for the 350th anniversary of the Royal Scots Regiment in 1983.

This is one of the most popular Scottish country dances. It has been in the top ten most frequent dances appearing on dance programmes, for decades.

The Royal Scots (also known as "Pontius Pilate's Bodyguards") was formed in 1633 when King Charles I granted a Royal Warrant to Sir John Hepburn to raise a body of men to serve in France (Hepburn's Regiment).

Until 2006, when the regiment was merged with other Scottish infantry regiments, The Royal Scots was the oldest Infantry Regiment of the Line in the British Army. There is a Royal Scots Museum in Edinburgh Castle.

Those who attended the 40th West Toronto Ball had the opportunity to enliven themselves with this exhilarating reel. It is a frequent addition to many SCD events and celebrates the oldest Regiment in the British Army. What became the Royal Scots was raised initially as the First Regiment of Foot in 1633 by Royal Warrant of Charles I, great-grandfather of the "Bonnie Prince" himself.

Over the past three hundred and seventy five years, the Royal Scots has a rich history, including being nicknamed "Pontius Pilate's Bodyguard". Name a theatre of war or battle involving the British Army, and chances are a battalion of the Royal Scots was there to claim battle honours. . .Waterloo; the Crimean and Boer Wars; World War I (Somme, Ypres, Gallipoli); World War II (Normandy, Italy, Burma); and even the first Gulf War. Along the way, Royal Scots infantrymen also claimed seven Victoria Crosses, the ultimate British military honour.

But wait a minute! "Pontius Pilate's Bodyguard"? What kind of a sobriquet is that? Did they claim to be Roman legionaries at one time? It is said that around the first millennium the Romans recruited both Hibernians (erstwhile Scots) and Gauls into their Legions. This historical possibility apparently caused tongue-in-cheek arguments between the Royal Scots and a French regiment, both of whose forebears may have seen duty at a significant religious event around Jerusalem. Who knows what reality may exist to these hypotheses...?

Just two years ago (2007), the Royal Scots regiment was down to a single battalion and was merged with other surviving Scottish infantry regiments. As part of this merger, it has now become the 1st Battalion, Royal Scots Borderers of The Royal Regiment of Scotland.

The Barry Pipes Canon 025- May, 2009.

(Dance information from set and link, RSCDS Toronto Newsletter - What's In A Name? The Barry Pipes Canon 2005-2018, reproduced here with kind permission. Copyright Barry Pipes. All rights reserved)

The Reel Of The Royal Scots - Information Video

Royal Scots
Royal Scots Fusiliers WW2 War Memorial

Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original Royal Scots article on Wikipedia.
Image copyright David McNay (David McNay's Photograph Album.) Creative Commons Licence 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Back to the top of this Scottish Country Dancing Instructions 'The Reel Of The Royal Scots' page