The Queen's Love Of Bagpipes Was Represented During Her Funeral In A Huge Way

Every morning at 9 a.m., Pipe Major Paul Burns of The Royal Regiment of Scotland stood beneath the queen's window, and for 15 minutes each day, he played the bagpipes (via The Telegraph). He did this without fail, regardless of which house she was at — Windsor Castle, Balmoral, Buckingham Palace, or Holyroodhouse. He played in times of triumph and sorrow; he played the day she died. And he played for her, one last time, at St. George's Chapel as she was laid to rest.

Within the coverage of the queen's funeral services, the Independent reports that Major Burns is the 17th bagpiper to hold this role, which began under the reign of Queen Victoria when she and Prince Albert first heard bagpipes in the Scottish Highlands in 1842. "We have heard nothing but bagpipes since we have been in the beautiful Highlands," the royals noted. "[We] have become so fond of it that I mean to have a piper who can, if you like it, pipe every night at Frogmore."

What began as a personal piper began a royal tradition and is one of the highest honors a piper can hold.

Major Burns's role at the funeral was significant and meaningful as the bereaved bellows from his pipes concluded the church services. This was reminiscent of the recent funeral for the Duke of Edinburgh as well, in April 2021. Major Burns played "Sleep, Dearie, Sleep," a traditional Scottish song. He stood, playing in the doorway, as the queen's coffin was lowered. And while still playing, he slowly walked away, the music fading with each step as her family and nation said farewell.