Who is the Lord Chamberlain? Royal Household officer to break Wand of Office

·2-min read
The Lord Chamberlain with the Queen (PA)
The Lord Chamberlain with the Queen (PA)

Queen Elizabeth II’s committal service will take place on September 19, following a funeral service at Westminster Abbey.

During the committal service at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, the Lord Chamberlain will break his Wand of Office and place it on the Queen’s coffin, before she is lowered into the Royal Vault.

The Lord Chamberlain is one of the most important positions in the royal household, and he will be tasked with breaking the Wand of Office, to represent the end of the Lord Chamberlain’s service to the Queen as sovereign.

But who is the Lord Chamberlain and what are his responsibilities?

Who is the Lord Chamberlain?

The current Lord Chamberlain is Andrew David Parker, also known as the Lord Parker of Minsmere GCVO KCB.

The former MI5 chief has been in office since April 1, 2021, succeeding Lord Peel, who retired on March 31, 2021.

He worked in the Security Service for 37 years and was the Director General of MI5 from 2013 until 2020.

Lord Parker has an MA in Natural Sciences, from Churchill College, Cambridge, and was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in 2019.

In December 2020, he was made a cross-bench life peer, and he has been a non-executive director of Babcock International since November 2020, and is also an advisor to Telicent.

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What does the Lord Chamberlain do?

The Lord Chamberlain is the senior officer of the royal household who works part-time to oversee general business, and to communicate between the sovereign and the House of Lords.

The Lord Chamberlain’s responsibilities include overseeing all departments and organising events, including funerals, royal weddings, and state visits.

He is the hereditary Officer of State and is responsible for the arrangements when the sovereign opens Parliament. The Lord Chamberlain also has control over Westminster Hall and the Crypt Chapel, which he shares with the speakers of the two houses.

The Lord Chamberlain is a member of the House, as well as a hereditary peer.