Queen's heartfelt support for royal staff member after wife's devastating cancer diagnosis

The Queen looked out for Pipe Major Scott Methven and his family during this difficult time

Queen Elizabeth II visits Watergate House to mark the centenary Of GCHQ
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The Queen’s former royal piper has revealed how the monarch supported him and his family after his late wife was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

The Queen’s former piper has revealed how she remained steadfast in her support for him and his family during their time of need, allowing them to stay at Balmoral Castle. Pipe Major Scott Methven held the prestigious role of Piper to the Sovereign from 2015-2019 and amongst his various royal duties, was tasked with giving the Queen her daily wake up call by playing the bagpipes outside her window every morning. Now he has opened up about Her Majesty’s heartfelt response after his late wife Morven was diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer on their wedding anniversary in 2017. 

According to The Telegraph, the Queen’s doctor carried out a blood test and Morven was taken to hospital. She, Scott and their children Fearghas (now 8) and Lilly-Grace (now 15) had been staying at Balmoral when Morven received her diagnosis. 

After learning Morven needed to travel to hospital urgently, Scott asked an equerry who would look after the children, only to be calmly told, “Just go. I will talk to the Queen. That’s what we’re here for.”

A general view of Balmoral Castle

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The children remained at the Queen’s Scottish residence during their parents’ absence, with Scott remarking upon how the royal nannies “all mucked in and helped out”. And it seems one of the Queen’s great-grandchildren was also a great source of comfort to his son, who was able to “run about” with Prince George. 

“Kids are kids. They would maybe have a wee argument over a toy tractor, which was quite funny,” Scott added, before going on to detail the Queen’s personal efforts to take care of the family and the medical staff looking after Morven.

Prince George of Cambridge departs Victoria on October 1, 2016

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“One morning when I went to the hospital, the Queen had arranged for strawberries and muffins to be made up in a basket for the nurses. She said ‘make sure they get that’. That’s what it’s about, isn’t it?” he declared.

And despite concerns about when he should return to his important royal duties, the piper claimed that Her Majesty herself was determined for him to put his family first and not rush back to work.  

“People on the military side were conscious about me getting back to work but the Queen said ‘absolutely not, it’s family first, you have as much time as you need to look after your wife’,” he said. 

Scott also stated that Her Majesty later allowed his children to stay at her Berkshire home, Windsor Castle, as well as to make family trips to Buckingham Palace.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex walk with Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on August 07, 2012 in Aberdeenshire

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Whilst his son Fearghas reportedly made a point of seeking out the late Duke of Edinburgh whenever he visited Balmoral, sharing his love of red squirrels. 

“I was the Queen’s escort and we would always have a wee chat. She was so understanding,” he disclosed. 

“She’d say ‘If you get a phone call in the middle of the night, you don’t need to ask anybody, just go. If anybody says anything, tell them I told you so’. And if I don’t hear you in the morning, I’ll know why’.”

Queen Elizabeth II attends the Royal Windsor Horse Show 2009

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One year after being diagnosed with cancer, Morven tragically passed away, leaving behind her devoted husband and children. Now a teacher of bagpipes, the music the Queen still wakes up to every day, Scott reportedly told BBC Scotland, “People genuinely think what you will about the Royal family or the Queen, but they pulled it out of the bag for me.” 

As he reflected on the Queen’s support during this intensely difficult time, it seems her kindness still means a huge amount to him and his family.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use , Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!