The Royal Company was founded in 1676 in Edinburgh by

‘an influential body of Noblemen and Gentlemen, who met for the purpose of encouraging the Noble and Useful Recreation of Archery, for many years much neglected.’

Archery remains a principal activity to this day and the long bow is still carried by the Royal Company on ceremonial duties. Competitive shooting continues throughout the year; in winter in the Butts at Archers’ Hall and in the summer in the grounds of the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh and at the Royal Household recreation ground behind Kensington Palace in London. Pre-dating the formation of the Royal Company, the Musselburgh Arrow has been competed for since at least 1603 and is regarded as the oldest sporting trophy in the world which has been continuously competed for and for which records have been kept.

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