Prince Philip: Piper says playing at funeral was 'greatest honour' of his career

The piper who played the Lament at the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral said it was “the greatest honour of my military career”.

Monday, 19th April 2021, 11:43 am
Updated Monday, 19th April 2021, 12:38 pm

Pipe Major Colour Sergeant Peter Grant played Flowers of the Forest after the duke’s coffin was lowered into the royal vault in Windsor as the Queen watched on.

The song is the funeral tune of the Royal Regiment of Scotland and is usually heard on Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday, with the 4th battalion’s pipe major tasked with playing it in the event of Philip’s death.

Mr Grant, from Braemar, said Saturday’s funeral was “very fitting” as he reflected on his role in the service.

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The Duke of Edinburgh's coffin, covered with his Personal Standard, being carried into St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, Berkshire.

Speaking to the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme, he said: “It was a very emotional moment but at the same time a proud moment and probably the greatest honour of my military career.”

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Mr Grant added: “Everyone that was involved with that parade was so proud; the armed forces did themselves proud as a whole.

“It was a great ceremony and I think it was very fitting for the Duke of Edinburgh.

“Personally, myself, I felt emotional because it’s a funeral and because Her Majesty and the royal family were saying goodbye to a man that meant so much to them.”

Mr Grant said people in his hometown of Braemar feel the royal family are “locals to the village”.

He explained: “I remember seeing the royals from a very young age – about seven or eight years old.

“That’s when I started playing the pipes as well, I’d play at the Braemar gathering and always see the royals there, and then joining the army and seeing the Duke of Edinburgh throughout my military career as well.”

The funeral service, which took place on Saturday, 17 April, included military bands and musicians, and a choir of just four, with the duke said to have personally picked much of the music.

The music included I Vow To Thee My Country, Supreme Sacrifice, Jerusalem, Isle Of Beauty and Nimrod.

The BBC's coverage of the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh was watched by an average of almost seven million people.

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