Queen Elizabeth II intervened in British politics to save institution close to her heart

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II once intervened with George Osborne

Dorothy Reddin

By Dorothy Reddin

Published: 06/11/2023

- 13:08

The incident came to light in a recent interview with George Osborne

Queen Elizabeth II once intervened to save an institution close to her heart, according to a former Chancellor of the Exchequer.

George Osborne, who served under David Cameron between 2010 and 2016, spoke on his podcast Political Currency about the late Queen occasionally intervening in politics.

He told his co-hot Ed Balls: "I was at a State Dinner and she came up to me and she said, 'The Chief of the Defence Staff is unable to answer my question.

"'He told me to go and speak to the Defence Secretary.

George Osborne

George Osborne revealed that the Queen asked him a favour when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer


"'I went to see the Defence Secretary and he told me to come and speak to you.

"'So I'm asking you, you're not going to close, are you, the Highland Bagpipe School of the British Army?'"

Osborne shared that he had to act quickly to ensure Her Late Majesty would not be disappointed.

"I was like, 'Of course not, Your Majesty,'" the former Chancellor of the Exchequer added.

George Osborne and Ed Balls

George Osborne and Ed Balls run the podcast Political Currency


"So the next day I get into the Treasury, I said 'Is there a bagpipe school?

"'And for God's Sake, tell me we're not closing it down?'

"And the treasury didn't know, or my private office didn't know immediately.

"And they scurried on, they said, 'Yes apparently there's a kind of Highland music school as part of the army bands, and we are making some cuts to those.'

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George Osborne

George Osborne at the Platinum Jubilee concert


"And I said, 'Well we're not anymore'."

Osborne informed Balls that he had to notify Queen Elizabeth II that there was nothing to worry about.

He continued: "I immediately sent a message back to the Palace that she could be reassured that the pipers of the British Army would remain well trained."

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