King Charles starts the day with bagpipes at his London home

Major Paul Burns marches in grounds of Clarence House, piping tunes in full Highland regalia

Pipe Major Paul Burns of the Royal Regiment of Scotland helps to close Queen Elizabeth II's state funeral last month. Getty Images
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Bagpipes are being played as a morning alarm call for King Charles III, keeping up a royal tradition that began with Queen Victoria.

For the first time since he acceded to the throne, on Wednesday the pipes played at Clarence House, the new king’s London residence until he makes an expected move to Buckingham Palace.

Pipe Major Paul Burns, from the Royal Regiment of Scotland, marched in the grounds of Clarence House wearing full Highland regalia.

The 15-minute 9am musical call began 179 years ago during Queen Victoria's reign.

“His Majesty’s Pipe Major played for the first time in the Clarence House garden this morning, as The King woke up in residence,” said a tweet from the royal family account.

“The position was created by Queen Victoria in 1843, and Queen Elizabeth enjoyed the special tradition following her Accession to the Throne in 1952.”

The session is split into two seven-minute slots separated by a one-minute interlude.

Pipers become members of the royal household and are often responsible for greeting people before they meet the monarch during official engagements.

Maj Burns played the lament Sleep, Dearie, Sleep when Queen Elizabeth II's coffin was carried from Westminster Abbey at the end of her funeral on September 19.

King Charles has also spoken of his love for clocks, during a special edition of The Repair Shop TV show.

“To me, I just love the sound, the tick-tock, but also if they chime. That’s why I love grandfather clocks.

“I find it rather reassuring in a funny way and they become really special parts of the house … the beating heart of it. So that’s why they matter to me."

Charles also used the show to lament the lack of vocational education in schools, which he called a “great tragedy”.

For a special one-off episode to mark the BBC’s centenary, filmed when King Charles was still the Prince of Wales, presenter Jay Blades and production team visited the British royal.

“I still think the great tragedy is the lack of vocational education in schools,” he said. "Actually, not everybody is designed for the academic."

Updated: October 26, 2022, 12:13 PM
EDITOR'S PICKS
NEWSLETTERS
MORE FROM THE NATIONAL