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View Full Version : Kilt/underwear "rule" suspended while there is a Queen?


matt_mcl
02-23-2010, 10:49 AM
I heard somewhere (and cannot remember where) that the notorious "rule" about what you are allowed to wear under the kilt is suspended while the Scottish throne is occupied by a lady. I would like to know where this variant on the, um, "no true Scotsman" legend came about.

md2000
02-23-2010, 11:22 AM
There's been several urban legends about the queen reviewing troops and some guy in a kilt fainting on parade; plus a photo - doctored, I'm sure - of the queen sitting with the front row of a group of kilted soldiers, one who keeps his legs apart.

I've never heard stories or a royally mandated or ordered cover-up. No true Scotsman would, I'm sure...

Mk VII
02-23-2010, 12:09 PM
I've never heard of such a rule, and while it's true that soldiers are not allowed to wear underwear with the kilt there's no obligation on anyone else to conform to it.

Malleus, Incus, Stapes!
02-23-2010, 01:37 PM
There's been several urban legends about the queen reviewing troops and some guy in a kilt fainting on parade; plus a photo - doctored, I'm sure - of the queen sitting with the front row of a group of kilted soldiers, one who keeps his legs apart.

There are two versions of the photo, one with naughty bits and one without, and Snopes isn't sure (http://snopes.com/photos/risque/queen.asp)which one is the original.

njtt
02-23-2010, 01:44 PM
I've never heard of such a rule, and while it's true that soldiers are not allowed to wear underwear with the kilt

Cite?

This sounds like an urban legend to me. Yes, Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kilt) says it, but it is marked "citation needed."

Kimstu
02-23-2010, 01:52 PM
In any case, Malleus's Snopes story seems to definitively answer the OP's question:

Army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Ed Brown confirmed that Lt Col West was not wearing underpants.

So apparently there is no official rule in effect mandating the wearing of underwear beneath kilts if the occupant of the Scottish throne is female.

The Cape Town Highlander regiment (http://www.cthighlanders.co.za/cth/Customs.htm) says:

There is a widely-held belief that Highlanders wear underpants when a Queen is on the throne, but not during a King’s reign.

This is totally incorrect. Highlanders never wear underpants under the kilt - these effete garments were first introduced into Scotland by the English, and to this day Highland soldiers all over the world go without under-garments when wearing the kilt, in tribute to the fierce mountain warriors of olden days.

For a true Highland soldier, going without underpants when wearing the kilt is yet another mark of pride which sets him apart from all other soldiers.

One theory about the origins of the incorrect belief about the underpants mentioned above is that on at least one occasion Highlanders parading before Queen Victoria were ordered to wear underpants in case their kilts blew up and shocked her.

njtt
02-23-2010, 03:35 PM
The Cape Town Highlander regiment (http://www.cthighlanders.co.za/cth/Customs.htm) says:

I would point out that
It is a South African regiment, not a British (and so not a 'true' Scottish one).
The page is headed "Cape Town Highlanders have various custom and usages that set them apart from other Scottish and non-Scottish regiments. Many of them relate to dress, such as the following: "
Hi...... oh, never mind.

matt_mcl
02-23-2010, 03:39 PM
Nevertheless, regardless of the reliability/applicability of the cite in question, it shows I didn't just hallucinate the existence of the belief. Thanks, Kimstu!

sqweels
02-23-2010, 03:58 PM
I think the whole point of not wearing underwear under the kilt is to give one a quick and effective way of proving that one is not a lady wearing a skirt.

Kimstu
02-23-2010, 04:01 PM
I would point out that

It is a South African regiment, not a British (and so not a 'true' Scottish one).

The page is headed "Cape Town Highlanders have various custom and usages that set them apart from other Scottish and non-Scottish regiments. Many of them relate to dress, such as the following:"

Yes, but note that the quoted excerpt says "to this day Highland soldiers all over the world go without under-garments when wearing the kilt" (emphasis added).

I know of no reason at present to contradict or mistrust that statement insofar as it applies to any Highlander regiment.

md2000
02-23-2010, 04:23 PM
I think the whole point of not wearing underwear under the kilt is to give one a quick and effective way of proving that one is not a lady wearing a skirt.

I remember working the World Scottish Festival one year. I went to the washroom and there was some guy in a kilt using the urinal; he just held up the front of the kilt with both hands and hoped it wasn't aimed at his shoes.

I suspect the photo with the queen is altered because the lighting is too good for something quite a ways back beneath some heavy cloth. But yes, it sure looks from the smirk on his face he knows exactly what he's doing, or the rest of the group doesn't know the South African word for "cheese".

I'm surprise nobody's pointed oot the standard Scots response - "Wha's worrrn beneath the kilt? Hoot mon, noothin of courrrse, it's all in perrrfect worrrkin' orrrderrr." (your accent may vary)

Mk VII
02-24-2010, 01:59 PM
Cite?

This sounds like an urban legend to me. Yes, Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kilt) says it, but it is marked "citation needed."

I'll cite B.L. Davis, British Army Uniforms and Insignia of World War Two, Pt.III Ch.10

Duckster
02-24-2010, 09:13 PM
I'm surprise nobody's pointed oot the standard Scots response - "Wha's worrrn beneath the kilt? Hoot mon, noothin of courrrse, it's all in perrrfect worrrkin' orrrderrr." (your accent may vary)

And then there's the story of the guy who asked, "What do you wear under your kilt?"

The response was, "Your wife's lipstick."