Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Royal Wedding

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

THE ROYAL WEDDING (S8x32) 3C (4C set) Gene A MacKinnon RSCDS 5 SCDs 1982

1- 8 1s set, turn 2H, dance down to 2nd place and turn 2H to face 1st corner
9-16 1s turn 1st corner RH to end between 2s/3s, set advancing to 2nd corner while corners set, turn 2nd corner RH to between corners, set advancing to 3rd corner while corners set
17-24 1s dance ½ reels of 4 with 3rd corners, pass LSh and face 4th corner, dance ½ reel with 4th corners, pass LSh to end between 2s and 3s on opposite sides)
25-32 All chase clockwise ½ way and turn partner 2H

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

Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams

Dance Instruction Videos

The Royal Wedding - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

This strathspey, The Royal Wedding, was devised by Gene MacKinnon and presented to the RSCDS in 1981 by the Ardbrae Dancers of Ottowa, Canada, as part of the celebrations for the wedding of the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer.
Celebrating whose wedding is not too hard to determine. As far as we know, there was no likely connection with royalty for the well-known Mairi of wedding fame. Did the wedding perhaps take place in South Africa? - Cape Town to be precise? No, neither of the above! But did you know that according to something I saw, there are around 100 dances in the SCD repertoire that refer to some wedding or other?

Of course, there is no mystery here, once you know that this dance first surfaced in the RSCDS booklet Five Scottish Country Dances 1982.

Who was married in London's St Paul's Cathedral, just prior to that year? Ah, yes! The ill-fated wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer took place on July 29, 1981. One might wonder if the deviser of The Royal Wedding would have had second thoughts about the dance within a few years of its celebration.

So, let's focus less on the dance than on its deviser, Gene MacKinnon. Is that perhaps an American gentleman named Eugene? As we know, folks in the US do have quite the interest in Britain's Royal Family. Not so! The late Gene MacKinnon (née Lewis) was a resident of Guelph, Ontario.

Gene was a long-time member of our sister branch, RSCDS Hamilton, and was the deviser of a number of SCD favourites, including that great reel, Memory Lane.

I suspect that many of RSCDS Toronto's veteran teachers will have known Gene MacKinnon quite well. Gene passed away on December 29, 2008, at the age of 79 - a significant loss to Scottish country dancing in southern Ontario.

The Barry Pipes Canon 033- April, 2010.

(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)

Royal Wedding
Combined Coat Of Arms Of Charles And Diana, The Prince And Princess Of Wales, (1981-1996)

Image copyright Heralder, all elements by Sodacan [GFDL ( or Creative Commons Licence 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

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