Published On: Fri, Aug 5th, 2022

Queen Elizabeth sleep routine: Monarch shuns alarm clock for a more unusual wake-up call

Queen Elizabeth, 96, wakes up in a very unusual way for most Britons. Ideally, as the leading member of the Royal Family, it would have been thought that the Queen would be woken up by someone each morning. However, the monarch does not have a usual wake-up routine in the morning.

In fact, the Queen has a very distinct human alarm clock and it is actually a 175-year-old tradition.

Every morning Her Majesty gets woken by a bagpipe player who plays the instrument at 9am within earshot of her bedroom window.

Whether she is staying at Windsor Castle, Balmoral or even Buckingham Palace, the Queen expects to hear the sound of bagpipes every morning as a wake-up call.

The musician’s official title is Piper to the Sovereign and the tradition has lasted for over 175 years.

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The alarm clock does not go on for hours.

The musician only plays the instrument for around 15 minutes.

Only on two occasions have the bagpipes not been used as an alarm clock.

This was during World War II and when Pipe Major Scott Methven left the role due to family commitments in 2019.


The Queen did not have her human alarm clock for five weeks until Methven was replaced by Master Richard Grisdale from The Royal Regiment of Scotland.

In terms of what tunes the bagpiper has to play in the morning, apparently, the Queen likes a different melody every day.

According to former Pipe Master Gordon Webster, he had to learn over 700 songs.

Serving in the role from 1995 until 1998, he told Birmingham Live: “The Queen doesn’t like you repeating the same tunes every day.”

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Eating light, protein-filled and regular meals like the Queen is also a good enhancer of sleep.

The Queen is partial to fish and vegetables and likes a light breakfast of Special K with fruit, which will give her slow-burn energy and keep her fresh throughout a busy royal schedule, saving sleepiness for bedtime.

Her Majesty also takes light, daily exercise in the form of walking – a useful method of releasing endorphins, which can lead to a more relaxing night’s sleep.

A spokesperson for Bed Kingdom commented on the findings: “Comfortable and sufficient sleep is so important for mental and physical rest, especially for the busy lives of the Royal Family. 

“Despite being crowded by the hectic duties of a Monarch for the last 70 years, the Queen remains dedicated to staying healthy at the age of 96, so it comes as no surprise that the public search eagerly to learn the Queen’s secrets to a long healthy life.”

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