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The Royal Company of Archers

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The Royal Company of Archers was founded in 1676 as a private archery club (which it still is today with members of the Company competing for the 'Edinburgh Arrow' each year). The Company was granted the right of perpetual access to all public butts, plains and pasturages legally allotted for shooting arrows in return for giving the Sovereign three barbed arrows on request.

In 1822, the Company provided a bodyguard for George IV when he visited Edinburgh. This is a service they have provided to his successors upon their visits to Scotland, earning the Company the unofficial title of the 'Sovereign's Body Guard in Scotland'. Today the Company perform this duty at the request of the monarch at any state or ceremonial occasion taking place in Scotland.

To join the Company you need to be Scottish or have very strong Scottish connections with membership being granted by election. Today the membership tends to consist of senior military officers, politicians and members of the nobility.

The Company's headquarters is at Archer's Hall, which can be found in Buccleuch Street, Edinburgh. The Hall was built in 1777 by Alexander Laing and extended in 1900 by AF Balfour Paul.

A264403BBC ScotlandGeorge IVEdinburghArchery

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