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Senior Drum Major makes history

A Senior Drum Major is set to make history today when he leads the Queen’s Birthday Parade at Windsor Castle.

Coldstream Guards Warrant Officer Class 2 Scott Fitzgerald, has been involved in 12 Queen’s Birthday Parades. This will be his fifth as Senior Drum Major.

Scott, from Whitley Bay, Tyne & Wear, said: “I believe this year I will be the first person in the history of the Queen’s Birthday Parade, certainly in the last 50 years since the Senior Drum Major appointment was created, to lead five Queen’s Birthday Parades as the Senior Drum Major.

“Drum Major CP Deane BEM Irish Guards, was Senior Drum Major for four parades 1984-87 and I equalled that achievement between 2014 and 2017 but being Senior Drum Major again in 2021 will be unprecedented.“

Being involved in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Parade will be a huge privilege. WO2 Scott Fitzgerald

“It will be a special occasion for Her Majesty as it is being held in Windsor, but the format of the parade is more in line with the Birthday Parade that she knows so well from London. 

“For me personally it will be a huge honour as it will be the 5th time I have led the Bands of the Household Division in front of Her Majesty on the occasion of her official Birthday, which I believe is the first time in history for a Senior Drum Major.

“This particular parade is important for the nation as, although it is still a socially distanced parade, the format of the parade is more in line with the full-scale parade that hopefully will return next year. 

“This shows that as a nation we are so very close to a return to normality than where we were this time last year.”

Scott is clearly no stranger to high-profile royal duties, the most important of those he has taken part in coming earlier this year with the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral during which he lead the procession and the Processional Band through Windsor Castle from the Quadrangle to St George’s Chapel. 

It was such a poignant moment in history and a true honour and privilege to be involved on such a solemn but memorable occasion.” WO2 Scott Fitzgerald

The 45-year-old has enjoyed a varied Army career since joining in 1994, seeing three operational tours of Northern Ireland, one in Iraq and two in Afghanistan.

He has also been to France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Canada, Jamaica, Kenya, Japan, China, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand thanks to his military service. 

Throughout the military support during the Covid pandemic, he has been the Household Division Bands Operations Warrant Officer. He said: “The last year has taught me that time is limited, ultimately, and to make the most of your time and spend it with family, friends and loved ones. 

Looking forward to Saturday’s event, he added: “The biggest challenge of coming back to ceremonial duties after such a protracted period is not being ‘guard fit’.

“There are long days rehearsing and being on your feet constantly takes its toll on your body when you haven’t done it for a prolonged period of time.”

It’s a toll Scott is more than happy to pay for the pride he feels in creating his own mark in the military history books.