The group behind the Braemar Gathering is entering a new era with five women proposed as members of the 200-year-old organising society for the first time.
During Braemar Royal Highland Society’s annual general meeting last Friday the women were proposed as new ordinary members with the full benefits of membership available.
At last year’s annual meeting it was unanimously agreed to open ordinary membership to women, which needed a legal change to its rules.
Society president David Geddes said: “We have had honorary women members for a number of years, however it was felt that it was now time to address an imbalance and open our ordinary membership to them.
“The five women who have been proposed come from families who have a long history with the village and Gathering, and I’m pleased to be able to oversee this change to the society and look forward to welcoming them as full members in the coming months.”
The society was formed as the Braemar Wright Society during in July, 1815, as a result of late 18th century enabling legislation, designed to encourage the formation of mutual assistance societies.
It was formally constituted in 1816, six months to the day after the battle of Waterloo, and in 1817 was formally registered with the clerk of the peace as a Friendly Society - now the oldest surviving Friendly Society in the country.
This year’s Braemar Gathering will be held on Saturday, September 3.