Thank you Bruce. Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am very pleased to be here today in Stirling Castle, the spiritual home of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and the museum dedicated to safeguarding 'The Argyll's' legacy for future generations.
The Argyll's can trace their connection to Stirling and its Castle back to 1794. Its soldiers came from the countryside and towns of west and central Scotland and, of course, Sutherland; creating a very unique and spirited character.
The Argyll's are renowned for their bravery in battle and immortalised as The Thin Red Line for defeating the Russian Cavalry Charge at the Battle of Balaclava in Crimea.
The names of the Regiment’s dead can be found recorded on war memorials in every town and village nearby. They are part of the history of this great nation. We are the guardians of that memory, of their contribution and of their sacrifices.
I know my Grandmother holds a special affection for the Argyll's, having been made their Colonel in Chief in 1947, a relationship that is acknowledged and continued within The Royal Regiment of Scotland. I am honoured to be Patron of the Thin Red Line Appeal, to ensure that the history of one of Scotland's most iconic regiments can be preserved as part of the nation's story here in Stirling.
A very significant commitment, in terms of both time and funding, has already been made by the Trustees and staff to bring this project to life. I would particularly like to acknowledge Historic Environment Scotland for their support – their role is key to the successful renovation of the museum.
We have recently had the terrific news that the Heritage Lottery Fund has also agreed their support. In doing so we have an important catalyst to help raise the £4 million required to realise this vision. This is a substantial amount, but I am confident that the target is achievable.
Some of you here represent organisations and bodies that have already given generous support; for which I thank you. With your support and that of others around you, this Appeal will gain the momentum we need to deliver a first class and, importantly, sustainable museum.
It is apparent to me that there is a real determination to succeed and I am confident, that in 2019, we will have a new museum that does credit to this collection of national importance and will attract, inform and educate many thousands of visitors in the years ahead.