The Queen has appointed former MI5 director-general Lord Andrew Parker of Minsmere KCB as the new Lord Chamberlain – the Royal Household’s most senior officer. Lord Parker will start in this new role next month, when the current Lord Chamberlain, Lord Peel, is due to step down to begin his retirement.
Buckingham Palace said in a statement: “The Queen has appointed Andrew Parker, Baron Parker of Minsmere, as Lord Chamberlain to succeed Lord Peel, who will retire on 31 March.
“Lord Parker will take up his appointment on 1 April 2021.”
Lord Parker will join the Royal Household after having worked for several years with the Security Service and MI5 – the UK domestic counter-intelligence and security agency.
Lord Parker, made a peer in 2020, joined the Security Service in 1983.
In February 2005, only a few months before the London bombings, he became director of international terrorism at the service.
Following the terrorist attack in the capital on July 7 2005, he led the Security Service’s response.
Lord Peel went on to become director-general of MI5 in April 2013.
Lord Peel, who has served in the Royal Household as Lord Chamberlain for 15 years, announced his intention to step down in spring last year.
In a personal statement, he said: “During the 14 years that I have served in this role, I have witnessed a great deal of positive change across the royal households.
“It has of course been both a great privilege and pleasure to be part of so many significant events, and to be able to serve Her Majesty and the Royal Household in this unique position.”
Since joining the Queen’s team in 2006, Lord Peel oversaw important projects including the Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and the restoration of Buckingham Palace.
The Lord Chamberlain is in charge of coordinating activities of different household offices and is a link between the Queen and The House of Lords.
This role dates back to the Middle Ages, when the Lord Chamberlain was known as King’s Chamberlain and held political power, as he could act as the monarch’s spokesman in Council and Parliament.
The Queen and Lord Parker were photographed together in February last year, when the monarch carried out a surprise visit to the MI5 headquarters in London.
During her visit, the Queen was shown around the MI5 museum by Lord Parker, where she could admire exhibits which included displays highlighting the work of WWII double agents GARBO and TATE.
The focus of the monarch’s visit to MI5 was to thank its staff for their tireless work in defending the country.
She said: “I would like to take my visit here today as an opportunity to thank you all for the tireless work you do to keep our country safe.
“I am always struck by the remarkable resolve with which you carry out your vital role.
“There will no doubt continue to be significant threats and challenges ahead.
“But on each of my visits to MI5, I have been impressed by the way that you have adapted to the changing threats to our nation.
“Whether responding to the threats from the Nazis or the Cold War, domestic terrorism or the cyber sphere, you have always demonstrated the utmost commitment to your motto: ‘Regnum Defende’.
“Because of the nature of your work, it is without public recognition, so it is on behalf of the country that I say to you all, thank you.”
— to www.express.co.uk