A plan to attract Scottish diaspora of every ancient clan back to the Highlands to mark the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn next year has failed to inspire a Braveheart reunion.
It had been hoped that, like Mel Gibson’s desperate plea as William Wallace to “Unite the Clans!” during the 1995 Hollywood movie, a celebration to re-enact Robert the Bruce’s victory over the English in 1314 would include clan members from across the globe.
But Sir Malcolm MacGregor, the modern leader of Scotland’s clan chiefs, has spoken of his sadness that the nationalistic festivities – being held just weeks before Scotland’s referendum on independence – have been downgraded.
He criticised the “watered down” proposals from Stirling Council and the Scottish Government, saying it was a “huge disappointment” that authorities had cancelled plans to gather all the clans both nationally and internationally.
The National Trust for Scotland has approved the festivities, costing £400,000, next June. It will include a “huge battle re-enactment,” food tents, live music and theatre and an “extensive clan village”.
But Sir Malcolm said a battle re-enactment with a “clan element” did not have the “same attraction to overseas Scots as an international clan gathering”. He added: “There is no doubt about that.”