Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

Iceni Magazine | April 2, 2020

Scroll to top


Decorated Penguin Receives Military Promotion At Edinburgh Zoo

Decorated Penguin Receives Military Promotion At Edinburgh Zoo

This is the hilarious moment a highly-decorated PENGUIN waddled past a group of royal guards – before receiving a military promotion.

Sir Nils Olav – the highest decorated bird in the world – proudly strutted his stuff as he was promoted to Brigadier.

The famous bird, who lives at Edinburgh Zoo, was bestowed the title by his Majesty the King of Norway’s Guard who paid him a special visit yesterday (18/08).

Sir Nils paraded his way up Penguin Walk, whilst inspecting the soldiers of the guard.


The impressive bird, which is frequently described by his keepers as regal due to his unique black, white and yellow feathers will now be known as Brigadier Sir Nils Olav.

Zoo staff said the bird has an aura suggesting he knows exactly how important he is.

Excited Barbara Smith, acting chief executive officer for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, said: “We are honoured 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.”

The prestigious title was awarded during a special ceremony which was attended by over 50 uniformed soldiers who are taking part in The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo this year.

Adopted by Norwegian troops in 1962, he was as pleased as punch as he waddled through the crowds of soldiers and cameramen to receive his latest award.

Brigadier David Allfrey, Producer and Chief Executive of The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, added: “This is just a simply fantastic example of the great relations between our two countries, and it couldn’t be a more charming tradition.

“At the Tattoo we of course have many inspecting officers but this is by far my favourite. Congratulations, Brigadier Olav!”

The Guardsmen visit Sir Nils every few years and his keepers say that “Nils always recognises the Norwegian guardsmen when they visit.”

Since his adoption in 1972 he was worked his way up the ranks going from Mascot to Brigadier Sir.


Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On InstagramCheck Our FeedVisit Us On Pinterest