Royal piper’s fanfare wakes King Charles III for first time at London residence
26 October 2022, 13:50 | Updated: 26 October 2022, 14:10
Pipe Major Paul Burns played in the gardens of Clarence House for the first time since King Charles acceded to the throne.
The royal family has shared a video of the Piper to the Sovereign, Pipe Major Paul Burns, performing his morning duty of waking up King Charles III to the sound of bagpipes, at Clarence House for the first time.
Overlooking London’s Green Park, and situated just a short walk down The Mall from Buckingham Palace, Clarence House has been home to King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort since 2003.
His Majesty’s Pipe Major played for the first time in the Clarence House garden this morning, as The King woke up in residence.— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) October 25, 2022
The position was created by Queen Victoria in 1843, and Queen Elizabeth enjoyed the special tradition following her Accession to the Throne in 1952. pic.twitter.com/FuquIbBe8q
During her historic 70-year reign, Queen Elizabeth was famously woken each morning by a solo piper beneath her window at royal residences from Buckingham Palace to Balmoral.
The instantly recognisable sound of the bagpipes would ring out in the grounds at 9am on the dot for 15 minutes, signalling to the Queen and her household that it was time to begin the day.
Queen Elizabeth II held a particular soft spot for the Highland instruments, having spent many hours as a young girl watching pipers on her visits to Scotland.
They remained a constant throughout her 96 years; a lifelong love that was reflected in the significant role the bagpipes played during the Queen’s funeral in September 2022.
Pipe Major Scott Methven, who held the role form 2015 to 2019, fondly recalls his time as part of the royal household, sharing that the Queen even gave him an affectionate nickname. Once, after mistakenly addressing the Queen and issuing a quick correction, she replied: “Pipes, it has been 60 years since somebody called me Your Royal Highness and I quite liked it”.
The tradition of the Sovereign’s Piper was started by Queen Victoria in 1843 and has continued to this day, with only a brief hiatus of the position during the Second World War.
Days after King Charles acceded to the throne, it was confirmed that Major Paul Burns would continue as Piper to the Sovereign, having been appointed to the prestigious role in 2021, the seventeenth piper to serve in the royal household.