Gentleman Usher of the Purple Rod

The Gentleman Usher of the Purple Rod, or Lady Usher of the Purple Rod when appropriate, is the Usher to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, established in 1917 and effective since 1918.

The Gentleman Usher is appointed by the Sovereign[1] and holds the office during good behaviour.[2] No specific functions are assigned to the Gentleman Usher but the Statutes[3] require that the Usher shall "execute diligently whatever the Sovereign or Grand Master may be pleased to command touching the interests of the said Order".

The Statutes of the Order[4] provide that the Gentleman Usher "shall wear around his neck pendent to a purple riband an escocheon of gold enamelled on a field purpure a representation of Britannia surrounded by the circle and motto of the Order and surmounted by an Imperial Crown, and that he shall carry the Purple Rod of the Order, having at the top an escrol thereon the motto of the Order surmounted by a representation of Britannia."

Officeholders from 1918

See also


  1. ^ "No. 30250". The London Gazette (Supplement). 24 August 1917. p. 8791. "the 1917 Statutes", article 27.
  2. ^ Article 29 of the 1917 Statutes.
  3. ^ Article 29 of the 1917 Statutes.
  4. ^ Article 28 of the 1917 Statutes, article 30 of the 1918 Statutes.
Alexander Graham (Lord Mayor)

Sir Alexander Michael Graham GBE (born 27 September 1938) is a former Lord Mayor of London. He served from 1990 to 1991.

Graham has also served as an alderman and as Sheriff of the City of London. From 2000 to 2013, he served as Gentleman Usher of the Purple Rod.

Before assuming the office of Lord Mayor, he was made Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE) with effect from 9 October 1990.

Black Rod

The Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, or Lady Usher of the Black Rod, generally shortened to Black Rod, is an official in the parliaments of several Commonwealth countries. The position originates in the House of Lords of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

In the United Kingdom, Black Rod is principally responsible for controlling access to and maintaining order within the House of Lords and its precincts, as well as for ceremonial events within those precincts. Since early 2018, the post has been held for the first time by a woman, Sarah Clarke, who is therefore known as the Lady Usher of the Black Rod.

Ernest Gowers

Sir Ernest Arthur Gowers (2 June 1880 – 16 April 1966) is best remembered for his book Plain Words, first published in 1948, and for his revision of Fowler's Modern English Usage. Before making his name as an author he had a long career in the British civil service, which he entered in 1903. His final full-time appointment was as Senior Regional Commissioner for Civil Defence, London Region (1940–45). After the Second World War, he was appointed chairman of numerous government inquiries, including the 1949 Royal Commission into Capital Punishment. He was also chairman of the Harlow New Town Development Corporation.

Frederic G. Kenyon

Sir Frederic George Kenyon (15 January 1863 – 23 August 1952) was a British palaeographer and biblical and classical scholar. He held a series of posts at the British Museum from 1889 to 1931. He was also the president of the British Academy from 1917 to 1921. From 1918 to 1952 he was Gentleman Usher of the Purple Rod.

Gentleman Usher

Gentleman Usher is a title for some officers of the Royal Household of the United Kingdom. See List of Gentlemen Ushers for a list of office-holders.

List of participants in the coronation procession of Elizabeth II

The procession for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was an element of the ceremony in which court, clerical, governmental, and parliamentary officials from around the Commonwealth of Nations moved in a set order of precedence through the streets of London, England, and into Westminster Abbey, where the coronation took place.

List of participants in the coronation processions of George VI

There were three processions during the coronation of King George VI. The first saw the King and Queen, members of the royal family, Prime Ministers of the Dominions and the representatives of foreign royalty proceed from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey for the ceremony. Once in the Abbey, the second procession was an element of the ceremony in which court, clerical, governmental, and parliamentary officials from around the Commonwealth of Nations moved in a set order of precedence through the nave and choir and to their seats. After the Coronation, the King and Queen proceeded for the third and last time that day around London's streets as part of a large military parade. The lists below outline the processions forming part of the Coronation of King George VI.

Order of the British Empire

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations,

and public service outside the civil service. It was established on 4 June 1917 by King George V and comprises five classes across both civil and military divisions, the most senior two of which make the recipient either a knight if male or dame if female. There is also the related British Empire Medal, whose recipients are affiliated with, but not members of, the order.

Recommendations for appointments to the Order of the British Empire were originally made on the nomination of the United Kingdom, the self-governing Dominions of the Empire (later Commonwealth) and the Viceroy of India. Nominations continue today from Commonwealth countries that participate in recommending British (Imperial) honours. Most Commonwealth countries ceased recommendations for appointments to the Order of the British Empire when they created their own honours.

Pangbourne College

Pangbourne College is a co-educational independent day and boarding school located in the civil parish of Pangbourne, in the English county of Berkshire. It is set in 230 acres, on a hill south-west of the village, in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The college was founded by Sir Thomas Lane Devitt Bt. in 1917 as The Nautical College, Pangbourne with the purpose of training boys to become Merchant Navy officers. It became "Pangbourne College" in 1969 and while conforming to the general lines of a British independent boarding school, retains a distinctly nautical flavour; the pupils wear naval uniform.

Robert Bellinger

Sir Robert Ian Bellinger, (10 March 1910 – 8 July 2002) was a British politician and Lord Mayor of London.

Bellinger was born in Gloucestershire and raised in Fulham, London where he attended All Saints church school. Following his father's death he started work at the age of 14 as an office boy. He studied accountancy at the Regent Street Polytechnic before joining Kinloch, the wholesale grocery. He rose through the ranks to become chairman in 1946, a post which he held until retirement in 1975.He joined the Worshipful Company of Broderers in 1946, and was elected onto the Court of Common Council seven years later. An Alderman in 1958 he became Sheriff of the City of London in 1962 and finally Lord Mayor (and with it, the ex officio title of Chancellor of City University) in 1966.He was a Governor of the BBC and chairman of the Panel for Civil Service Manpower Review. From 1969 to 1985 he served as Gentleman Usher of the Purple Rod of the Order of the British Empire. In 1970, he was named as chairman of the National Savings Committee.

He was a keen sportsman, playing for Ealing Football Club in his youth, and was president of several Buckinghamshire sports clubs. He was also a longtime director of Arsenal Football Club from 1960 until 1996. On his retirement as a director of Arsenal he was appointed Life President, a title he held until his death in 2002.

Robin Gillett

Sir Robin Danvers Penrose Gillett, 2nd Baronet (9 November 1925 – 21 April 2009), was Lord Mayor of London 1976-77. He was also Gentleman Usher of the Purple Rod 1985 – 30 November 2000.


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