The Queen’s Piper: We used to have a good laugh

Pipe Major Scott Methven, who was Queen’s Piper until 2019, recalled the “joke” he had with the “easygoing and funny” king during his four-year tenure.

The 48-year-old described his move from the military in 2015 to live in Buckingham Palace as “bizarre”, but explained that he had a “wonderful relationship” with the Queen.

He told the PA news agency: “She was really responsive and well documented. It’s always just a talk, I’ve had a lot of jokes with the Queen, which is great.


Major Scott Methven from the Royal Scottish Regiment shakes hands with Queen Elizabeth II (Scott Methven/PA)

“The first time I was appointed, she turned around and said to me ‘Look, the only reason you got this job is because you’re my height’ and then she left.

“I don’t expect that from the Queen if that makes sense. She set up the bar so I went with it and we had a good laugh. She’s just the easiest person to work with.”

Mr Methven, who played at Sting’s 60th birthday party in New York with celebrity guests including Stevie Wonder, Hugh Jackman, Robert Downey Jr and Lady Gaga, said he once had a “battle”. laugh” with the royal family in Balmoral.

He said: “I remember one night it was just the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and some other family members. The invited guests hadn’t arrived yet so I said I would mix it up and I filmed on bagpipes.


Scott Methven (Scott Methven / PA)

“I would go around the tables and like Top Gun and the Prince of Wales (now King Charles) asked if I could do the AC/DC Thunderstruck.

“It was fun in Balmoral, the duke would try to get me up, get my feet out and stuff like that, things that people wouldn’t expect.

“I think that’s one thing I love about the Queen, she’s so approachable and funny.”

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The professional pickpocket recalls accidentally calling the Queen Your Royal Highness in Windsor during royal Ascot week.

“She never missed a beat,” he said. She just looked to the right. I said “I’m sorry, good afternoon Your Majesty” and she took my arm and said, “Pipes, it’s been 60 years since someone called me Your Highness and I quite like it.”

“It was brilliant and she laughed.

“I remember King Charles III pulled me aside and he said to me ‘I can say, every time I see you with Ma’ma, you make her really happy, keep it up. do what you’re doing.’

“It was just a great relationship. She makes you feel like she’s just your grandma.”

During his time as the Queen’s Piper, Mr. Methven lost his mother and wife to terminal illness as well as his father within eight months.

Before his wife’s death, Mr Methven recalled: “I was standing with the Queen and she said ‘If you’re not here in the morning and you’re not playing bagpipes, then I know you’re away. Don’t wait to ask anyone, go home if your family needs you because it’s family first. ‘

“She took my hand again and said ‘you know Pipes if someone has a problem with you you tell them I said just go for it.’

“That’s her type of person. She is the best recruiter I have ever had, amazing.

“She doesn’t make you feel like she’s your boss. We are talking about the most famous women of the last century and she is an amazing person.”

Mr Methven, who has been the 15th Queen’s Piper since 1873, said he called “insiders” at the Palace to check if the Queen was okay after seeing “weak” pictures chili” of the King shaking hands with new Prime Minister Liz Truss on Tuesday.

He said he was “something wrong” and was waiting at the airport in Naples, Italy when he heard the Queen’s death.

“I was devastated,” he said. It was my daughter who called me and she was crying. As my daughter says, it feels like she (the Queen) is the only one who cares about our family.

“She was the one who said I could leave my children at Balmoral Castle, she said come and sit in the hospital with your wife.

“I was devastated, it felt like I lost a member of my family. The Queen has invited me to come in on September 22 to stay and attend the next Ghillies Ball, so I’m going up in a couple of weeks.

“I have spoken more directly to the Queen over a period of four and a half years in a given week than I have spoken to my own wife.

“I only see my wife on weekends, I’m in London from Monday to Friday and the Queen is the woman I see the most, every day. She is just a wonderful person.

“It’s the human side of things that I don’t think people will really believe, how much she really cares, and nothing is too much of a problem.

“I think she’s more concerned with other people than herself and that’s a pretty good thing to say about anyone.”


The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, wearing the Royal Scottish Standard (Andrew Milligan/PA)

On Sunday, the Queen’s oak coffin, covered by the Royal Scottish Standard with a Balmoral wreath on top, embarked on a six-hour trip to Edinburgh.

It was played at the Balmoral estate by the current Queen’s Piper, Pipe Major Paul Burns of the Royal Scottish Regiment.

Mr Methven added: “Last night I spoke to Queen’s Piper to offer some advice and I’m happy to give that advice, it’s nice that people are still contacting you but people have clearly been affected. devastated.

“He’s playing in the ballroom, six Ghillies carrying coffins and he’s playing at St Giles’ tomorrow.

“He will be Piper playing at the London ceremony and just as the Queen goes to Windsor Castle into the chapel, he will also play the pipes for that.

“So he will be very interested in this matter. Pipe Major Paul Burns is a cracker and a good man, he will do a great job. “ The Queen’s Piper: We used to have a good laugh

Fry Electronics Team

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