Edinburgh Castle lit in rainbow colors to mark queer anniversary

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle, one of Scotland’s most famous landmarks and tourist attractions, was lit in rainbow colors this week to mark a very special anniversary.

Twenty years ago, the United Kingdom dropped its ban on gay, lesbian and bisexual people serving openly in the armed forces. 

Edinburgh Castle overlooks the city
Edinburgh Castle overlooks the city (Photo: @ArmyScotland | Twitter)

To mark this fact, the castle, a historic military fortress and still a military garrison HQ, was bathed in rainbow lights.

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The castle, which sits on Castle Rock and dominates the city skyline, dates back to the 12th century. 

Edinburgh has a thriving LGBTQ community and scene, and is the most visited city in Scotland. This is in large part to its internationally famed festivals, including the Edinburgh Festival and Fringe Festival each August. 

Edinburgh Castle wasn’t the only landmark to mark the anniversary of the UK dropping its gay military ban. The RAF’s Cranwell College in Lincolshire also received the rainbow treatment, along with the Ministry of Defence in London and the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. 

Sandhurst Collge
Sandhurst Collge (Photo: @RMASandhurst | Twitter)
The Ministry of Defence headquarters in London
The Ministry of Defence headquarters in London (Photo: @DefenceHQ | Twitter)

Also, rainbow flags were raised at the Royal Navy’s three main naval bases in Devonport, Portsmouth, and Faslane.

Cranwell College in Lincolnshire trains personnel for the UK's Royal Air Force
Cranwell College in Lincolnshire trains personnel for the UK’s Royal Air Force (Photo: @RoyalAirForce | Twitter)

Last week, current Defence Minister, Johnny Mercer, MP, met with LGBTQ veterans to apologize for the way they were poorly treated before the ban being lifted.

“It was unacceptable then and it is unacceptable now, and as the minister for defence, people and veterans, I wanted to personally apologize to you today for those experiences.”