The RAF made history this week when Flight Sergeant Jeanette Scott stepped onto the forecourt at Buckingham Palace.
Thirty years ago, the RAF were the first of the Services to integrate women into military bands. They broke a 155-year male-only tradition when the Central Band of the RAF marched onto the forecourt at Buckingham Palace for Changing of the Guard with nine female musicians in their ranks.
This week, Flight Sergeant Scott became the first female Drum Major of any Service to lead a band during this world renowned ceremony. Crunching the gravel of the Buckingham Palace forecourt, she led the Central Band of the RAF as they provided musical support to the Queen’s Colour Squadron.
The Changing of the Guard ceremony takes place as the Queen’s Guard passes the responsibility for protecting the Palace to the New Guard; a tradition that has taken place in its current form since Queen Victoria moved into Buckingham Palace in 1837.
"It’s an honour to take part in such an iconic tradition. Becoming an RAF Musician has presented me with many unique opportunities throughout the course of my career. To be involved in such a prestigious event, in a role that has not yet been undertaken by a woman, is another amazing privilege I have been so lucky to be offered."
Flight Sergeant Scott
Flight Sergeant Scott studied at the prestigious London College of Music, joining the RAF in 1998 before being promoted as the Service’s first female Flight Sergeant Drum Major in May 2021.
She is no stranger to working in high pressured environments having deployed to Afghanistan for three months guarding Kabul Airfield during the height of the conflict in 2003. In addition to excelling musically Flight Sergeant Scott has also competed at the highest level for the RAF, being awarded Sports Colours in both rowing and athletics.