Royal piper plays for businessmen

DUBAI — Members of the British Business Group (BBG) were treated to an evening with the Queen of England’s former Piper Major Jim Motherwall, who spoke about his experiences and performed selected pieces at the Fairmont here on Monday night.

By A Staff Reporter

Published: Wed 25 Apr 2007, 8:36 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 1:43 AM

Motherwall worked as the Pipe Major of The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders from 1991-1997, prior to becoming the Queen’s piper from 1997-2004, the 10th person to hold the position since 1843.

He spoke fondly about his time when he lived in the Buckingham Palace with his wife, and played for the Queen every weekday. In addition to that, he travelled with the Queen to Balmoral Castle every summer, where he would remain for tree months and play for the royal family and their guests every evening at dinner.

“At times it was stressful. I’d work six days a week and was always on call. Additionally, I not only had to play under pressure, but had to memorise every note from an expansive library of tunes and be ready to play any given one at the Queen’s request. Nevertheless I loved the job and grew to really respect the Queen who at 81, has worked so hard throughout her life to remain such a beloved monarch.”

He was also asked about his experiences meeting foremost international dignitaries, which he answered by recounting an amusing anecdote chronicling a run in with the US Secret Service during a visit by the Clintons and also mentioned that Colin Powell, a former US Secretary of State, impressed him the most.

“Powell was such an extraordinary man that made a great impression on me. He was warm and friendly, and came across as a genuinely humble person, with very much compassion.”

More news from