The Lord Chamberlain is the Head of Her Majesty’s working Household. He is responsible for recommending to The Queen, candidates for the senior appointments in the Household. He also coordinates the activities of the different Household offices.
The Lord Chamberlain is the conduit of communication between The Queen and The House of Lords. He is also Chancellor of the Royal Victorian Order.
For ceremonial occasions the Lord Chamberlain carries symbols of his office; a white staff and a key worn in his hip pocket. The white staff is symbolically broken over the grave of a deceased Monarch. The Earl of Clarendon was the last Lord Chamberlain to break his staff over the grave of George VI in 1952.
The position dates back to the Middle Ages. Known as the King’s Chamberlain, the position was one of the Great Offices of the Household. Whoever held the positions was also a key political figure as he acted as the King’s spokesman in Council and Parliament on numerous occasions.
The appointment was a political one and changed with the government until 1924.
The Earl Peel GCVO PC DL is the current Lord Chamberlain and was appointed in 2006.
Lord Peel was a member of The Prince’s Council, which is part of the Duchy of Cornwall from 1993 until 2006. He was also Lord Warden of the Stannaries’ from 1994 until 2006.
You can catch a glimpse of The Lord Chamberlain introducing guests to Her Majesty at one of her Garden Parties below.