British RoyalsThe Queen

The Queen appoints Scottish minister as personal chaplain

Her Majesty The Queen has appointed a new personal chaplain; Rev George Cowie of South Holburn Church joins her household as Chaplain-in-Ordinary.

He is a minister of the Church of Scotland. Cowie is 53 and has been a church minister for 26 years. He will hold this position until the age of 70. Cowie is one of ten personal chaplains in Scotland.

This position is today, mostly ceremonial, but dates back to the 15th century. Cowie will participate in formal state ceremonies and national events.

Cowie will be officially installed in a ceremony held in Aberdeen later this year. He told “I felt surprised, humbled and honoured to be offered this appointment as a Chaplain to The Queen in Scotland.”

The Very Rev Prof Iain Torrance, Dean of the Chapel Royal in Scotland, said: “I am truly delighted that The Queen has appointed George Cowie to this trusted role.

“He was a Clerk to the Presbytery of Aberdeen when it was going through a difficult time.

“George’s fairness, integrity and pastoral commitment shone through.

“He is respected throughout the Church, and I am delighted to see him recognised and honoured by The Queen.”

The Church of England Ecclesiastical Household is comprised of the College of Chaplains, which is under the Clerk of the Closet. Each year, three to four ministers are appointed as personal chaplains to Her Majesty. She may choose one herself.

The clerk advises in this case, The Queen’s Private Secretary on names for candidates to fill vacancies, presents bishops for homage to The Queen, examines any religious books to be given to her and also preaches annually in the Chapel Royal in St James’s Palace. All of this is done while receiving only a £7 salary per year.

The household also includes the associated Chapel Royal, the Royal Almonry Office, various domestic and service chaplains.