The Queen will approach her final resting place at Windsor Castle to the soulful sound of her favorite bagpipe playing a Scottish rebel lullaby.
A Massed Pipes and Drums band from the Scottish and Irish Regiments will play the Skye Boat Song – the theme song to the TV series Outlander – as the funeral procession approaches the castle gates.
The traditional 19th century Scottish song recalls how Bonnie Prince Charlie fled to the Isle of Skye to avoid capture by government troops after being defeated at the Battle of Culloden in 1746.
The choice of the song which celebrates the Jacobite rebel who had fought the English soldiers could well have raised eyebrows some of the ancestors of the queen.
But the Queen was known for her love of bagpipes and Scotland, and would certainly have heard this heartwarming and romantic tune many times in her life.
She even had her own piper for her for 15 minutes at 9am every morning when she was in residence at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Balmoral or Holyroodhouse.
Bagpipes are played as military personnel take part in final drills along the Long Walk in Windsor on Friday evening as they prepare for the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on Monday
The Skye Boat Song, often played as a lullaby or waltz, was composed in the late 19th century by Sir Harold Boulton but was later rewritten by Robert Louis Stevenson who judged the original Jacobite tune of the lyrics to be ” unworthy”.
The ‘Over the Sea to Skye’ line is still used today as a cornerstone of the tourism industry on the Isle of Skye.
The song has been recorded by many artists including Rod Stewart, Tom Jones, Roger Whittaker and Tori Amos.
When used as the opening song of the 2014 historical drama television series Outlander, the phrase “Sing me a song of a lad that is gone” was replaced with “lass” to match the plot of a woman going back in time in Scotland. .
A Massed Pipes and Drums band from the Scottish and Irish Regiments will play the Skye Boat Song – the theme song to the TV series Outlander – as the funeral procession approaches the castle gates. The Queen’s coffin is pictured in state on Sunday
The tune will be played by a total of 406 soldiers on foot and on horseback, and 40 personnel from royal households, escorting the state hearse for a mile and a half as it approaches the castle.
He was heard during the closing stages of a solemn dress rehearsal held in the dark as the procession descended the Long Walk, approaching Cambridge Gate to enter the castle grounds around 5 a.m. 30 yesterday.
Tens of thousands of people are expected to watch the Long March procession tomorrow before it is joined by members of the Royal Family inside the castle grounds.
Security was tightened as the rehearsal began in the dark under starry skies with armed police watching the stage while dog handlers searched.
The rehearsal has revealed details of how the procession in Windsor will unfold after the Queen’s coffin is driven into the maroon-coloured State Hearse in central London.
ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON LYRICS FOR SKYE BOAT SONG
ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON LYRICS FOR SKYE BOAT SONG
[Chorus:] Sing me a song of a boy who’s gone, Say, could that boy be me?
Happy of soul, he sailed one day
Over the sea to Skye.
1. Mull was aft, Rum on the port side,
Eigg to starboard bow;
The glory of youth shone in his soul;
Where is that glory now?
2. Give me back everything that was there,
Give me the sun that was shining!
Give me eyes, give me soul,
Give me the boy who left!
3. Wave and breeze, islands and seas,
Mountains of rain and sun,
All that was good, all that was right,
Everything that was me is gone.
Hurry, bonnie boat, like a bird in flight, Forward! sailors weep; Carry the boy who was born to be king Over the sea to Skye.
1. Loud the winds howl, loud the waves roar, the claps of thunder tear the air; Bewildered, our enemies stand by the shore, Follow them, they dare not.
2. Many’s the lad, fought that day
Well, the claymore wielded;
When the night has come, lying in silence
Died on the Culloden field.
3. Though the waves leap, you will sleep sweetly, The ocean is a royal bed.
Cradled in the abyss, Flora will keep
Look through your tired head.
4. Burned are their homes, exile and death Scatter the faithful men; Yet, before the sword cools in the scabbard, Charlie will return.
Hundreds of police will be spaced ten meters apart on either side of the Long Walk, where they will monitor the crowds.
A further 477 soldiers, sailors, members of the Royal Marines and RAF in full ceremonial uniform will line the avenue, facing inwards as a sign of respect for the late monarch.
Officers with measuring sticks will ensure that they stand in pairs facing each other on either side of the long step and exactly ten paces apart.
The hearse is expected to arrive at Shaw Farm Gate in Windsor just after 3pm on Monday.
A single policeman riding a white horse will lead the procession, followed immediately behind by three other police horses.
Behind them and marching in front of the hearse will be a dismounted detachment of the Household Cavalry Regiment with their swords drawn pointing down.
They will be followed by a Mounted Division of the Sovereign’s Escort, resplendent in their red uniforms, swords raised.
Kilted musicians from the Massed Pipes and Drums and bands from the Coldstream Guards and Household Cavalry will be next in line, taking turns playing their music as the procession moves on.
A group of civilian staff from the households of the late Queen, King Charles and the new Prince of Wales will follow.
The State Hearse will carry the Color of the Queen’s Company, the Royal Standard of the Grenadier Guards and a Sovereign Standard of the Household Cavalry, carried fore and aft.
He will be flanked by the Queen’s pallbearers and 26 other soldiers from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, dressed in their imposing red uniforms and bearskin hats as they march in silence.
Two more mounted and dismounted detachments of the Household Cavalry will follow with four more mounted police in the rear.
As the procession slowly moves down the Long March, service personnel lining the route will be ordered to present arms and stand with their heads bowed and rifles pointed downwards.
The rehearsal was attended by a handful of audience members, including Professor Peter Leech, 43, his wife Hannah, 40, and daughter Catherine, 12, who had traveled overnight from their home in Bournemouth, Dorset .
The family had planned to see the Queen lying in Westminster Abbey, but changed their minds when they stopped at a motorway service station at 2 a.m. and decided the line of wait was too long.
Mr Leech said: ‘We decided to come to Windsor to see the flowers, and someone told us the rehearsal was on, so we decided to stay here. It’s pretty surreal to see all of this unfold in the middle of the night.
‘I’m glad we’re here. Wasn’t sure what to expect, but I feel like it’s part of the story, watching the bands and all the soldiers march past.
Former lawyer Donna Stoneman, 55, who lives in Windsor, said: ‘I thought I would come and watch because I couldn’t sleep. Logistically, it’s an incredible sight. I can’t imagine the incredible amount of organization that must have gone into planning everything.
“It’s going to be so sad not to hear the Queen’s bagpipes anymore. I could often hear the sound they played for her at 9 a.m. every day when she was in residence.
Lieutenant Colonel Fred Wells, commander of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards which guarded the route of the procession, described the rehearsal as “absolutely critical” to ensure everything went according to plan.
Around a million people will line the streets of London tomorrow to witness historic scenes of breathtaking splendor and splendour, punctuated by historic moments of sadness and solemnity, as the coffin of His Majesty is transported from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey.
He said: ‘It was about getting a group of soldiers, sailors and airmen together for the first time to get it right for Her Majesty on Monday. There was a lot of preparation behind the scenes and many units were involved.
“The bands had some trouble reading their music in the dark, and the horses were a little frisky, but I’m sure they’ll be fine that day.”
“The funeral will be one of the most momentous occasions of my career. To be able to pay tribute to such an incredible woman is a true honor and privilege. It will be the most memorable parade of our lives.
Lance Cpl Liam Budd, 28, of the Coldstream Guards who will be part of the guard outside St George’s Chapel, said: ‘I always had a huge sense of pride when I watched the Queen in the eyes. Her death hit the whole country and I will be more than a little sad to see her pass for the last time.