Norwegian King’s Guard promotes king penguin to brigadier at Scottish zoo

EDINBURGH, Scotland, Aug. 23 (UPI) — A king penguin knighted by the Norwegian King’s Guard in 2008 was given a new rank at his Scottish zoo home: Brigadier.

Nils Olav, the third king penguin at the Edinburgh Zoo to bear his name and serve as mascot of the Norwegian King’s Guard since 1972, was promoted to brigadier Monday morning by King’s Guard members in town to perform at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

The previous Nils Olav was knighted in 2008, following in the footsteps of the first penguin to bear the name, which was bestowed the rank of corporal in 1982.

“This is just a simply fantastic example of the great relations between our two countries, and it couldn’t be a more charming tradition,” said Brigadier David Allfrey, producer and chief executive of The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. “At the Tattoo we of course have many inspecting officers but this is by far my favorite. Congratulations, Brigadier Olav.”

Barbara Smith, acting chief executive officer for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, said: “We are honored to host His Majesty the King of Norway’s Guard as they bestow a prestigious new title upon our king penguin, Sir Nils Olav. It is a very proud moment and represents the close collaboration between our two countries, Scotland and Norway.”

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