What Are the Duties of the Queen's Piper?


Quick Answer

The queen's piper is responsible for a variety of duties, the most important of which involves playing the bagpipes underneath the queen's bedroom window every weekday. This is the highest rank that a piper, a military musician, can hold in the British armed forces. There are other duties to be carried out under this office, including the coordination of army bagpipe players at official functions.

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Full Answer

The queen's piper must be in place and ready to play the bagpipes for 15 minutes starting at 9 a.m. every weekday morning while the queen is in her official residences at Buckingham Palace, Balmoral Castle, Windsor Castle or the Palace of Holyroodhouse. In addition to having a personal presence in the queen's daily activities, the queen's piper also occasionally has direct contact with the queen. For example, the piper will sometimes serve in a function that's officially known as the Honorary Page of the Presence, mostly at official events such as receptions, garden parties and investitures. In these cases, the queen's piper will escort the queen to various locations associated with the function. This is considered a military position, and the man or woman who holds this office is required to be an active-duty soldier.

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