The tenth musician to serve as the official Queen's Piper at Britain's Buckingham Palace, Pipe-Major Jim Motherwell was born in Scotland in 1961; after learning to play the bagpipes from his father, he later joined the Territorial Army, enlisting with the 1st Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in 1980. Injured in the line of duty while serving in Northern Ireland, Motherwell was still confined to his hospital bed when in 1991 he was requested by Queen Elizabeth II to compose a bagpipe piece in honor of the UK's alliance with the US during the Gulf War; not only did he perform "Desert Storm" in front of then-President George Bush during the Queen's visit to America, but in 1998 Motherwell was selected to hold the post of Queen's Piper, a position first created by Queen Victoria in 1843. The principal duty of the Queen's Piper is to play each weekday morning outside Her Majesty's window, although he also performs at state banquets and the like; other duties include winding the clocks in the Royal Family's private apartments. Despite this busy schedule, Motherwell somehow found time to record an album, 1999's The Queen's Piper.
by Jason Ankeny