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The Royal Household: Master of the Household’s Department

The Master of the Household Department was created in 1539.

Originally there were four Masters of the Household, but in the 17th Century it was reduced to one. The position was also one that required little to no effort, which was until Prince Albert reorganized the structure in the 1840s.

The current Master of the Household Department comprises over 250 employees and is the largest department of the Royal Household.

Since 2013, Vice-Admiral Anthony Johnstone-Burt, CB OBE has held the position.

The Department is in charge of all hospitality, catering and housekeeping preparations for official and private entertaining throughout all Royal residences. The Department organises the guest lists, arrangements for seating as well as the meal service for all events and functions.

Numerous branches make up the Household that include the Food, General, Craft and Housekeeping Branches.

The Food and General branches are administered by Assistants to the Master of the Household. The Housekeeping Branch is overseen by the Chief Housekeeper.

The Food Branch (F Branch) takes care of the provisions and food service from the Royal kitchens both for Her Majesty and other Royal Family members as well as the rest of the Household.

The General Branch (G Branch) handles the organisation, managing and staffing of the ceremonial events and entertainment at all residences in the UK and on particular events abroad. The G Branch is also responsible for greeting and taking care of guests and members of the Royal Family. They make the travel arrangements for Her Majesty; manage the wine cellars, flower arranging and the glass, porcelain and plate pantries.

The Craft Branch (C Branch) is based at Windsor Castle. They provide restoration, conservation and maintenance service for the interior furnishings and furniture throughout the Royal Household. Included in this group are the gilders, furniture restorers, upholsterers and French polishers.

The Housekeeping Branch (H Branch) undertakes the housekeeping in all Royal residences. They uphold the cleanliness, appearance and general maintenance of all rooms at the Royal residences.

Featured Photo Credit: c@rljones via photopin cc

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