December 20, 2023

Royal achievement: Lorne MacDougall discusses bringing quality piping to millions in the final season of The Crown (video)

Lorne MacDougall [Caroline Hewat]
[Caution: this article and video contain possible spoilers.]

Lorne MacDougall of Glasgow is one of the world’s most innovative and accomplished Celtic musicians, performing on various instruments, including the Highland pipes. He’s an in-demand musician for television and movie soundtracks and scores, and his latest project is one of his biggest: coordinating and performing the Highland piping for the final episodes of the celebrated Netflix series, The Crown.

Lorne MacDougall [Martin Forry]
MacDougall’s screen productions include Dune, How to Train Your Dragon, Whisky Galore, Thunderbirds, Brave, and Doctor Who. He’s worked with top-flight recording artists like Susan Boyle and been a member of the Tannahill Weavers and the Red Hot Chilli Pipers.

While his on-screen appearances in The Crown are brief, his piping plays a central and culminating part in the final episodes of the six-season series.

MacDougall’s work on the program brings high-quality piping to a massive worldwide audience, and his role as an advisor in the production puts our too-often misrepresented instrument in a spectacular light.

His playing of Queen Elizabeth II’s favourite tune, “Sleep, Deary, Sleep,” is so poignant that it brings lead actor Imelda Staunton, who plays the Queen, to tears, just as it did when the Sovereign Piper Pipe-Major Paul Burns moved an audience of billions with his piping at the real Queen’s funeral.

Imelda Staunton, playing Queen Elizabeth II, gets teary-eyed hearing Lorne MacDougall’s rendition of “Sleep, Deary, Sleep.”

The role and power of the piping in The Crown can’t be understated, exposing millions more worldwide to the Highland pipes as they are meant to be heard.

We wanted to know more about his work on The Crown, and Lorne MacDougall took time from his busy schedule as a performer, teacher and composer to fill us in on his work on the series and his life as a professional Celtic musician.

We thank Lorne MacDougall for sharing his thoughts and a few behind-the-scenes insights with pipes|drums.

Stay tuned for more videos with piping and drumming leaders.






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