‘Sleep, Dearie, Sleep’: Queen's piper concluded state funeral with lament he played every day to wake her up

The state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II was held on September 19, 2022, at Westminster Abbey in London, followed by an extravagant funeral procession

‘Sleep, Dearie, Sleep’: Queen's piper concluded state funeral with lament he played every day to wake her up
Pipe Major Paul Burns (L) is the 17th person to hold the position since it was created in 1843 (Frank Augstein and Andrew Matthews/Getty Images)
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LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: The traditional song ‘Sleep, Dearie, Sleep’ was played at the end of Queen Elizabeth II's state funeral by her personal bagpiper, who reportedly woke her up every morning with the tune. The Queen was awakened by the sound of bagpipes at all of her residences throughout Britain. Every morning, the piper used to play for 15 minutes beneath her window, serving as her own personal alarm clock. However, the song that greeted the Queen marked the closing of her funeral on Monday, September 19. 

According to The Independent, Pipe Major Paul Burns is the 17th person to hold the position since it was created in 1843 when Queen Victoria was in power. Before the funeral service, a variety of compositions were played, such as Elegy Op. 58 by Sir Edward Elgar, Reliqui Domum Meum by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, and Fantasy On O Paradise by Malcolm Williamson. The church and a large portion of the country went into two minutes of silence toward the end of the service. After that congregation began singing ‘God Save the King.’ The service was concluded by the Queen's piper with a lament that eventually faded to silence.

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He also played one final lament while Her Majesty’s coffin was lowered into the Royal Vault beneath St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. The state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II was held on Monday, September 19, at Westminster Abbey in London. This was followed by an extravagant funeral procession, the UK's first in over 50 years since Winston Churchill was given this honor in 1965.

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President Joe Biden was among the nearly 500 foreign leaders present to bid the queen farewell. The march, which included thousands of soldiers dressed in ceremonial costumes, was one of the biggest military processions ever held in Britain.


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The Queen's coffin began its 1.5-mile journey through the heart of London, past the Buckingham Palace residence to the Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner. The monarch and the royal family followed on foot. The coffin was subsequently carried onto a hearse and transported to Windsor Castle, located west of London, for a service at St George's Chapel. In order to symbolize the monarch's authority and rule, the Queen's crown, orb, and scepter were removed from the coffin and put on the altar. The coffin was then lowered into the royal vault. At the King George VI Memorial Chapel, where Queen Elizabeth's parents and sister Princess Margaret have been laid to rest, the Queen and her husband of more than seven decades, Prince Philip who passed away in 2021 at the age of 99, were buried together during a private family service later in the evening.

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