WHILE the country mourned the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Ballingry's Allan Campbell was quietly rehearsing in the middle of the night on the streets of London.

It was a moment the British Army's senior drum major was prepared for, having been rushed from Edinburgh to the capital just days after the news broke from Balmoral, but one which remained one of his most emotional performances as he led the pipe band procession during her late Majesty's state funeral.

"To have been in this position and be part of it the last time she was able to listen to military music was important," he explained.

"The most emotional part was when we were stood inside Windsor when the hearse passed by and saluted the King and Royal family."

As reported by the Times last week, the former world champion drummer joined the Black Watch at just 16-years-old.

Since then he has met the Queen more than 30 times, having played for her at the Royal Windsor Horse Show and at her Platinum Jubilee celebrations earlier this year.

He continued: "It was always going to be my responsibility.

"Every three or four months we always double check, make sure we are happy with how it goes.

"Because we had been there for a week doing rehearsals in the day and through the night we were more prepared for it.

"We knew it would have been watched by millions but because I've been doing the job for so long I've got used to that.

"But when you see the crowds and the cameras you do really realise how many people are watching."

The proud 34-year-old started his journey at Lochgelly High, and is now based at Redford Barracks in Edinburgh where he has taught "hundreds" of pupils on side drum and bugle.

But last week he was based at Wellington Barracks, preparing the pipe band's performance in the early hours so that police could cordon off the streets they would use.

"It was a hectic week, everything needed to be timed," he said.

"As soon as we stepped off everyone was focused.

"We were in a good place, had an idea of who would be going down, where they would be travelling from.

"Once it was finished we were back to Edinburgh on the Tuesday, back to reality."