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The Queen

The Queen appoints top spy as her new Lord Chamberlain

The Queen has appointed the former Director General of MI5 as her new Lord Chamberlain.

Lord Parker, the formerly the UK most senior British intelligence officer, takes up the position as the most senior officer in the Royal Household on April 1st.

Andrew Parker, who was made a Peer in 2020, takes over from Lord Peel who retires next month after 15 years in the role.

Lord Parker joined the Security Service in 1983 and became Director of International Terrorism at the Security Service in February 2005, leading the Security Service’s response to the 7 July 2005 London bombings.

He went on to become Director General of MI5, the United Kingdom’s domestic counter-intelligence and security agency, in April 2013.

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.

In his new role, Lord Parker will coordinates the activities of the different Household offices and will be the conduit of communication between The Queen and The House of Lords.

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.