Everybody has certain quirks that set their mornings aside from the conventional, whether through a particular shower ritual or the unique way you take a coffee. For King Charles III, however, mornings begin in a way that is distinctly different from what you might expect.
Every morning at 09:00 promptly, King Charles III is awoken by the sound of bagpipes – following a 179-year-old practice that began with Queen Victoria in 1843.
On the morning of October 24th, Pipe Major Paul Burns played for the first time at the Clarence House, the King's royal residence in London, but has played daily since his reign began last month.
He is the 17th piper to fulfil the duty and previously played for Queen Elizabeth before her death on September 8th, 2022.
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 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/FuquIbBe8qOctober 25, 2022
Pipe Major Burns (videoed above) follows the monarch around the royal residences, including Windsor Castle and Highgrove House – depending on where the King is spending the night. Every morning, he ensures he is awoken by a daily performance that consists of two seven-minute sessions – separated by a minute in between to tune the Scottish instrument.
While the piper (who is an official member of the member of the Royal Household) acts as the King's alarm clock each morning, his jobs continue throughout the day. The BBC (opens in new tab) reports that he is also responsible for greeting people at official engagements before they meet the monarch. He also reportedly holds quarters at Buckingham Palace but travels to wherever the monarch is based before fulfilling his daily role.
Pipe Major Burns also gained global admiration last month after reciting the lament Sleep, Dearie, Sleep as the late Queen's coffin left Westminster Abbey at the end of her funeral service. The piper is the only non-royal permitted to wear Balmoral tartan, as seen in the footage.
Despite the daily performance, it is unknown how frequently the sounds of the traditional instrument are responsible for waking the King from his sleep. In the years before becoming King, the then-Prince of Wales suggested he liked to begin his royal duties before 09:00 in a number of newspaper profiles (opens in new tab). It is, therefore, likely that King Charles is already awake to hear this part of his morning routine.
Megan is the News and Trends Editor at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes. As the News Editor, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, sleep and wellbeing stories, and celebrity-focused pieces. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.
Cyber Monday Home Deals LIVE now on coffee makers, vacuums, furniture & more
We're hunting down the best deals on kitchen appliances, homeware, pizza ovens, grills and more from your favorite brands
By Lucy Searle • Published
Black Friday food processor deals – shop the best deals on the best brands
Snag one before Christmas to help with feast prep and save up to 50% with these Black Friday food processor deals from Cuisinart, KitchenAid, Ninja and more
By Millie Fender • Published