- Former piper Scott Methven said the royals supported him when his wife was diagnosed with cancer.
- Methven was at the Queen’s Balmoral Castle home in 2017 when he received the news.
- He said the royal household “all mucked in” to look after his children and offer support.
Scott Methven was the Queen’s official piper from 2015 until 2019, and was one of only 16 people to hold the position since 1843, he told Insider.
His role involved playing the bagpipes for the Queen outside Buckingham Palace every morning, as well as accompanying the monarch at her royal residences across the UK and to official state events.
The position is “one of the highest accolades available to a piper serving in the Armed Forces,” a spokesperson for Buckingham Palace wrote on Instagram in 2016. The history of the post dates back to Queen Victoria, who first heard bagpipe music when visiting the Scottish Highlands with Prince Albert in 1842, according to the Instagram post.
Methven told Insider that his role involved taking private jets with the Queen, meeting celebrities such as Tom Cruise and President Obama, and even informing the palace press office when former Prime Minister David Cameron resigned in 2016.
The former piper had to abruptly pause his duties when his late wife was diagnosed with stage 4 terminal cancer in September 2017. He told Insider about how the royal household stepped in to offer their support.
The Queen helped Methven when he experienced a family tragedy in 2017
The couple had been staying on the grounds of Balmoral Castle with their two children shortly before they received the diagnosis.
Methven said he had intended to go back to his duties, but was told by the Queen’s equerry (who works as a personal attendant and representative to the monarch) to “put his family first.” The equerry said that the royal household would take care of his children while he visited his wife in hospital.
“It just so happens that Prince George was up at the same time,” Methven told Insider. “There was loads of people that could look after them.”
Methven added that the royal staff members “all mucked in” to babysit and the children made sausage rolls with the royal chefs and played with the Queen’s horses.
“The Queen was on the ball. All the way through this, she was making sure there were no issues. It was really good. I think any employer that steps up and helps you, that’s the key,” he said.
Despite being given only weeks to live at the time of her diagnosis, Methven’s wife lived for another year, he told Insider.
He ultimately resigned from his post in 2019 because he wanted to be able to spend more time looking after his children. When his wife died, his “love for the army died as well,” he said.
“Someone asked me a few weeks ago, ‘What is your biggest regret?’ I’ve thought about it, and I wish my wife knew Scott now,” he said. “Because I think I’m a far better person now, I’m a better father now. When you’re away doing your work, it’s all about your work, but now I’m a more rounded person, and show more empathy.”