A tribute to Queen Elizabeth II celebrating 70 years as monarch
This photo was taken of Christopher Macdonell, of Apple Hill, as he and his band members of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, Pipes and Drums band were just about to start playing. In moments they would be marching past the Queen and her family. Rebecca Macdonell Photo

APPLE HILL – We are all at one time or another connected by surprising circumstance. Christopher Macdonell, originally from Apple Hill is no exception.

“I am in the military, I serve in the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, but I am also a member of the Regiment’s Pipes and Drums which is comprised of all serving members,” he said.

On Feb. 6, Queen Elizabeth II became the very first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee. The Queen is celebrating 70 years of service to people in the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and the Realms.

To mark the occasion, a number of events were planned throughout England including Canada.

In England there were a number of special events planned to mark the 70 years of the Queen’s reign, including Platinum Jubilee lunches, parties, traditional beacon lighting across the land, special church services and the Trooping the Colour just to name a few Platinum Jubilee events.

Macdonell was a member of the military parade that took part in the Platinum Jubilee Pageant held on Sun., June 5, at the conclusion of the Jubilee weekend celebrations.

“I was a part of a group of massed bands that was made up of different pipe bands from the Scottish regiments of the British Army, we all were playing, various marching sets to march the soldiers in the parade, but when passing the Royalty watching, HRH The Prince of Wales, we played a specific tune written for The Queen for this Jubilee called Diu Regnare,” he said.

The bagpipe tribute was composed by Stuart Leddell especially for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations and the word Regnare is Latin for “to reign”.

Macdonell said, “It was a great experience, certainly once in a lifetime.”

Following his interest in the bagpipe, Macdonell attended the Glengarry School of Piping and Drumming, with a grant for tuition from Clan Donald.

He joined the Canadian military.

He explained, “When I left the Canadian Army one of my former bosses gave me a contact to join the British Army. The regiment I chose was based in Scotland so that’s how I ended up here.”

Macdonell and his wife Rebecca live in Leuchars, Scotland.

London England and the Queen are six hours and 5,322 kilometres from Cornwall.

It is a long journey for a Canadian who loved the bagpipes.

Macdonell was born in Cornwall and attended Holy Trinity school. At some point in his life, he was given a Chanter by his aunt, which is the pipe section of the bagpipe; the pipe has holes in it and that is where the melody for the bagpipes is played.

If you want to hear the actual bag pipe tribute for the Queen, go to https://www.stuartliddell.com/diu-regnare