Chamberlain (office)

A chamberlain (Medieval Latin: cambellanus or cambrerius, with charge of treasury camerarius) is a senior royal official in charge of managing a royal household. Historically, the chamberlain superintends the arrangement of domestic affairs and was often also charged with receiving and paying out money kept in the royal chamber. The position was usually honoured upon a high-ranking member of the nobility (nobleman) or the clergy, often a royal favourite. Roman emperors appointed this officer under the title of cubicularius. The papal chamberlain of the Pope enjoys very extensive powers, having the revenues of the papal household under his charge. As a sign of their dignity, they bore a key, which in the seventeenth century was often silvered, and actually fitted the door-locks of chamber rooms, since the eighteenth century it had turned into a merely symbolic, albeit splendid, rank-insignia of gilded bronze. In many countries there are ceremonial posts associated with the household of the sovereign.

Portrait of the Count-Duke of Olivares - Google Art Project
Gaspar de Guzmán, Count of Olivares, painting by Diego Velázquez, 1624. In the covenant of the royal favourites is the Chamberlain's key.
Christopher de Paus
Christopher Count of Paus: appointed papal chamberlain by Pope Benedict XV in 1921. Painting in Spanish Renaissance style.
18257 Kammerherrenøkkel
The key of a Chamberlain at the Royal Court of Norway


Historically, many institutions and governments – monasteries, cathedrals and cities – also had the post of chamberlain, who usually had charge of finances.[1] The Finance Director of the City of London is still called the Chamberlain, while New York City had such a chamberlain, who managed city accounts, until the early 20th century.[2]


From the Old French chamberlain, chamberlenc, Modern French chambellan, from Old High German Chamarling, Chamarlinc, whence also the Medieval Latin cambellanus, camerlingus, camerlengus; Italian camerlingo; Spanish camerlengo, compounded of Old High German Chamara, Kamara [Latin camera, “chamber”], and the German suffix -ling.[3]


Some of the principal posts known by this name:


  • Kammerherr, or Kämmerer (with a charge of finances, treasury)


  • Grand Chamberlain of The Councils of Brunei

Around the year of 2012, The Grand Chamberlain of The Council, Alauddin bin Abu Bakar, on emergency broadcast had announced the divorce between the Sultan and his third wife.[1]

June 7, 2015. The Grand Chamberlain of Brunei announced the newborn prince of Deputy Sultan, Crown Prince of Brunei

Byzantine Empire


  • Hofmarskallen
    • Kammerherre
    • Kammerdame



  • Kammerherr, or Kämmerer (with a charge of finances, treasury)

Holy Roman Empire





  • Chamberlain-Major of Portugal
  • Chamberlain of the Prince of Portugal

Roman Empire

Russian Empire

Ober-Kammerherr or Kammerherr (Russian: Обер-камергер or Камергер}. Historically, Postelnichiy (Постельничий) was the ceremonial post at the court of a Grand Duke. Later, in 1772, at the court of the Tsar the German term Kammerherr was introduced. The Ober-Kammerherr was responsible for the audiences granted to members of the Royal Family. Since the beginning of the 18th century, the Ober-Kammerherr was the most senior appointed official of the Russian Imperial Court associated with the household of the sovereign. The most notable figures were:

Serbia in the Middle Ages


In Sweden there are eight serving chamberlains (kammarherrar) and four serving cabinet chamberlains (kabinettskammarherrar) at the royal court. The chamberlains are not employed by the court but serve during ceremonial occasions such as state visits, audiences, and official dinners.


In Thailand the head of the Bureau of the Royal Household is titled the Lord Chamberlain (เลขาธิการพระราชวัง). He has several Grand Chamberlains as his deputy, usually in charge of a specific portfolio.

United Kingdom

United States

  • Chamberlain of the City of New York


See also


  1. ^ Chamberlain Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine (from Encyclopædia Britannica 1911)
  2. ^ "City of London leading personnel". Archived from the original on 2007-12-22.
  3. ^ Wikisource Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Chamberlain" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 5 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 819–820.
1949 New Year Honours

The 1949 New Year Honours were appointments by many of the Commonwealth realms of King George VI to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by citizens of those countries. They were announced in supplements to the London Gazette of 31 December 1948 for the British Empire, New Zealand, India, and Ceylon to celebrate the past year and mark the beginning of 1949.

The recipients of honours are displayed here as they were styled before their new honour, and arranged by honour, with classes (Knight, Knight Grand Cross, etc.) and then divisions (Military, Civil, etc.) as appropriate.


Chamberlain may refer to:

Chamberlain (office), the officer in charge of managing the household of a sovereign or other noble figure

Curtis P. Iaukea

Colonel Curtis Piʻehu Iʻaukea (December 13, 1855 – March 5, 1940) served as a court official, army officer and diplomat of the Kingdom of Hawaii. He later became an influential official for the subsequent regimes of the Provisional Government and the Republic and the Territory of Hawaii.

Iaukea was raised from an early age to serve the Hawaiian royal family. He first gained prominence during the reign of King Kalākaua when he served as an important court official and an army officer in the volunteer army of the Kingdom of Hawaii. He held numerous significant positions including governor of Oahu and chamberlain to the Royal Household. He also served as Hawaii's ambassador to Europe and Asia, attending the coronation of Tsar Alexander III of Russia and the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria. Iaukea received numerous Hawaiian honors and foreign decorations during his service to the kingdom. Following the overthrow of the monarchy, he continued to work for the subsequent regimes of the Provisional Government and the Republic of Hawaii. He served as an officer on the military staff of President Sanford B. Dole and represented the Republic at the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria.

After Hawaii's annexation to the United States, he became a member of the Democratic Party of Hawaii and served in many official positions in the newly created Territory of Hawaii including sheriff of Honolulu County, senator of the Third District, secretary of Hawaii, and acting governor of Hawaii. As one of the last surviving representatives of the Hawaiian royal court, he served as business manager and private secretary to the deposed Queen Liliʻuokalani until her death in 1917.

Fabian von Fersen (1762–1818)

Count Fabian Reinhold von Fersen (7 October 1762, Stockholm – 10 March 1818, Stockholm) was a Swedish count, politician, officer and courtier. He was the son of Axel von Fersen the Elder and Hedvig Catharina De la Gardie and the brother of Count Axel von Fersen the Younger, Hedvig Eleonora von Fersen and Sophie Piper.


Kalākaua (November 16, 1836 – January 20, 1891), born David Laʻamea Kamananakapu Mahinulani Naloiaehuokalani Lumialani Kalākaua and sometimes called The Merrie Monarch, was the last king and penultimate monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi. Succeeding Lunalilo, he was elected to the vacant throne of Hawaiʻi against Queen Emma. He reigned from February 12, 1874, until his death in San Francisco, California, on January 20, 1891. Kalākaua had a convivial personality and enjoyed entertaining guests with his singing and ukulele playing. At his coronation and his birthday jubilee, the hula that had been banned from public in the kingdom became a celebration of Hawaiian culture.

During his reign, the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875 brought great prosperity to the kingdom. Its renewal continued the prosperity but allowed the United States to have exclusive use of Pearl Harbor. In 1881, he took a trip around the world to encourage the immigration of contract sugar plantation workers. Kalākaua wanted Hawaiians to broaden their education beyond their nation. He instituted a government-financed program to sponsor qualified students to be sent abroad to further their education. Two of Kalākaua's projects, the statue of Kamehameha I and the rebuilding of ʻIolani Palace, were expensive endeavors but are popular tourist attractions today.

Extravagant expenditures and his plans for a Polynesian confederation played into the hands of annexationists who were already working towards a United States takeover of Hawaiʻi. In 1887, he was pressured to sign a new constitution that made the monarchy little more than a figurehead position. He had faith in his sister Liliʻuokalani's abilities to rule as regent when he named her as his heir-apparent following the death of their brother, William Pitt Leleiohoku, in 1877. After his death, she became the last monarch of Hawaiʻi.


Since the 18th century, in the German-speaking world, the term Kammermohr (or Hofmohr) has been used to refer to a servant of black skin colour at court.People of black skin colour from the Orient, Africa and America have often been taken to Europe as valets during the time of Colonialism. The term was first used as an official term in a court protocol in 1747 in Saxon.

The splendidly decorated Kammermohr, often in livery, served a ruler, church dignitaries or wealthy merchants as an exotic object of prestige and as a status symbol, showcasing their wealth and luxury lifestyle. Above all, however, the valets symbolized the worldwide relations of their employer.

Well-known examples include Anton Wilhelm Amo, Angelo Soliman, Ignatius Fortuna, Gustav Badin and Abraham Petrovich Hannibal.

List of positions of authority

The following is a list of positions of authority.

Lord Chamberlain (Norway)

The Lord Chamberlain of Norway (Norwegian: hoffsjef) is a traditional officer of the Royal Household of Norway. The title was introduced in 1866. In Denmark the equivalent title is Hofmarskallen (Marshal of the Court).

Steward (office)

A steward is an official who is appointed by the legal ruling monarch to represent them in a country, and may have a mandate to govern it in their name; in the latter case, synonymous with the position of regent, vicegerent, viceroy (for Romance languages), governor, or deputy (the Roman rector, praefectus or vicarius).

Waiting staff

Waiting staff are those who work at a restaurant or a bar, and sometimes in private homes, attending customers—supplying them with food and drink as requested. A server or waiting staff takes on a very important role in a restaurant which is to always be attentive and accommodating to the customers. Each waiter follows rules and guidelines that are developed by the manager. Wait staff can abide by these rules by completing many different tasks throughout their shifts, such as food-running, polishing dishes and silverware, helping bus tables, and restocking working stations with needed supplies.

Waiting on tables is (along with nursing and teaching) part of the service sector, and among the most common occupations in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that, as of May 2008, there were over 2.2 million persons employed as servers in the U.S.Many restaurants choose a specific uniform for their wait staff to wear. Waitstaff may receive tips as a minor or major part of their earnings, with customs varying widely from country to country.

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