Prince William to face this unexpected wake-up call when he becomes King—and the Queen’s experienced it too

Prince William will have to get used to a very unusual wake-up call when he takes the throne

Prince William to face this unexpected wake-up call when he becomes King—and the Queen’s experienced it too
(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Prince William will face a loud wake-up call when he becomes King—and we mean that literally. 


The Duke of Cambridge will have to adjust to a number of changes when he takes the throne—some of which are slightly more irritating than you'd expect. 

Prince William is following in the Queen's footsteps as he prepares for his future role as King, a promotion which will elevate his status from working royal to Head of State. 

The lofty title, which will initially be assumed by Prince Charles when Her Majesty dies, will come with a list of even loftier responsibilities, including a plethora of constitutional duties.

Although the monarch is politically neutral, they must fully understand domestic and foreign affairs in order to sign government documents and pass legislation. They are also expected to make official state visits abroad and represent the nation on both celebratory and sorrowful occasions.

It's a big job, but one the Duke seems to be more than ready for. The Queen's training program for preparing Prince William to be King commenced when was a teenager, which means the 39-year-old royal now has over two decades of practice under his belt.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 10: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Queen Elizabeth II watch a flypast of Spitfire & Hurricane aircraft from the balcony of Buckingham Palace to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of The Battle of Britain on July 10, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Of course, no matter how prepared you are for a new role, there's always a learning curve. Prince William will have to adapt to some mandatory changes to his routine when he becomes King—including the introduction of an old-fashioned wake-up call. Rather than using an alarm clock or phone to help him rise and shine every morning, the Duke will be stirred from his slumber by the sound of a slightly less modern sound—bagpipes. 

"Once William becomes King of England, it seems as though he won't have any use for an alarm clock," royal commentator Christine-Marie Liwag Dixon told the List. 

"He'll be awoken in the same way that the monarch of Britain has been for centuries. The Piper to the Sovereign, as the bagpiper is known, has been playing for the king or queen since 1843." 

Queen's piper

(Image credit: Steve Parsons/PA Archive/PA Images)

That's right—the Queen has relied on her personal piper to wake her up throughout her 69 years on the throne. The unusual job, which is currently held by Pipe Major Richard Grisdale of The Royal Regiment of Scotland, requires the musician to play their instrument outside the monarch's window every morning for 15 minutes. And without the option to press the 'snooze' button, you can bet Her Majesty hasn't overslept in years. 

It is possible, however, that the custom will have fizzled out by the time Prince William ascends the throne. Royal insiders have speculated that the Firm will undergo a radical overhaul when the Queen dies, predicting that Prince Charles will downsize by living in Clarence House instead of Buckingham Palace when he becomes King. The decision would mark a major shift in royal tradition, with the famous London residence serving as the nerve center for the British monarchy for over 200 years now. 

Emma Dooney
Emma Dooney

Emma is a news writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life. She covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health or lifestyle story. When she's not reporting on the British monarchy and A-list celebs, you can find her whipping up vegan treats and running the roads to cheesy '90s pop music...but not at the same time, obviously.