Lord Chamberlain

The Lord Chamberlain or Lord Chamberlain of the Household is the most senior officer of the Royal Household of the United Kingdom, supervising the departments which support and provide advice to the Sovereign of the United Kingdom while also acting as the main channel of communication between the Sovereign and the House of Lords. The office organises all ceremonial activity such as garden parties, state visits, royal weddings, and the State Opening of Parliament. They also handle the Royal Mews and Royal Travel, as well as the ceremony around the awarding of honours.

For over 230 years, the Lord Chamberlain position had the power to decide which plays would be granted a licence for performance, from 1737 to 1968, which meant that the Lord Chamberlain had the capacity to censor theatre at his pleasure.[1]

The Lord Chamberlain is always sworn of the Privy Council, is usually a peer and before 1782 the post was of Cabinet rank. The position was a political one until 1924. The office dates from the Middle Ages when the King's Chamberlain often acted as the King's spokesman in Council and Parliament.[2]

The current Lord Chamberlain is The Earl Peel, who has been in office since 16 October 2006.[3]

Lord Chamberlain of the Household
The Earl Peel

since 16 October 2006
Member ofRoyal Household of the United Kingdom
AppointerSovereign of the United Kingdom

Historic role

During the early modern period, the Lord Chamberlain was one of the three principal officers of the Royal Household, the others being the Lord Steward and the Master of the Horse. The Lord Chamberlain was responsible for the "chamber" or the household "above stairs": that is, the series of rooms used by the Sovereign to receive increasingly select visitors, terminating in the royal bedchamber (although the bedchamber itself came to operate semi-autonomously under the Groom of the Stool/Stole). His department not only furnished the servants and other personnel (such as physicians and bodyguards, the Yeomen of the Guard and Gentlemen Pensioners) in intimate attendance on the Sovereign but arranged and staffed ceremonies and entertainments for the court. He had (secular) authority over the Chapel Royal, and through the reabsorption of the Wardrobe into the Chamber, was also responsible for the Office of Works, the Jewel House, and other functions more removed from the Sovereign's person, many of which were reorganized and removed from the Chamberlain's purview in 1782.[4]

As other responsibilities of government were devolved to ministers, the ordering of the Royal Household was largely left to the personal taste of the Sovereign. To ensure that the chamber reflected the royal tastes, the Lord Chamberlain received commands directly from the sovereign to be transmitted to the heads of subordinate departments.[4]

In 1594, the Lord Chamberlain, Henry Carey, 1st Baron Hunsdon, founded the Lord Chamberlain's Men, for which William Shakespeare was a part (and later a shareholder in the company) and for whom he wrote most of his plays during his career. Carey served under Elizabeth I of England at the time and was in charge of all court entertainment, a duty traditionally given to the Master of the Revels, a deputy of the Lord Chamberlain. Later, in 1603, James I of England, elevated the Chamberlain's Men to royal patronage and changed the name to the King's Men.[5]

Theatre censorship

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford by Arthur Pond
Sir Robert Walpole, the Prime Minister who gave the Lord Chamberlain official censorship duties

The Licensing Act 1737

In 1737, Sir Robert Walpole officially introduced statutory censorship with the Licensing Act of 1737 by appointing the Lord Chamberlain to act as the theatrical censor. The Licensing Act 1737 gave the Lord Chamberlain the statutory authority to veto the performance of any new plays: he could prevent any new play, or any modification to an existing play, from being performed for any reason, and theatre owners could be prosecuted for staging a play (or part of a play) that had not received prior approval.

Historically though, the Lord Chamberlain had been exercising a commanding authority on London's theatre companies under the Royal Prerogative for many decades already. But by the 1730s the theatre was not controlled by royal patronage anymore. Instead it had become more of a commercial business. Therefore, the fact the Lord Chamberlain still retained censorship authority for the next 200 years gave him uniquely repressive authority during a period where Britain was experiencing "growing political enfranchisement and liberalization".[6]

Even further confusion rested in the fact that Members of Parliament could not present changes to the censorship laws because although the Lord Chamberlain exercised his authority under statute law, he was still an official whose authority was derived from the Royal Prerogative.[6]

Theatres Act 1843

By the 1830s, it started to become clear that the theatre licensing system in England needed an upgrade. Playwrights, instead of representatives of minor theatres, actually initiated the final push for reform as they felt that their livelihoods were being negatively affected by the monopoly the larger theatres had on the industry, backed by the laws in the 1737 Act.[6]

A Select Committee was formed in 1832 with the purpose of examining the laws that affected dramatic literature. Their main complaints were the lack of copyright protection for their work and more importantly that only two patent theatres in London could legitimately perform new plays. After more pressure from playwrights and theatre managers, the findings of the committee were finally presented to Parliament.[6]

It was the proposals of this committee that Parliament implemented in the Theatres Act of 1843. The Act still confirmed the absolute powers of censorship enjoyed by the Lord Chamberlain but still slightly restricted his powers so that he could only prohibit the performance of plays where he was of the opinion that "it is fitting for the preservation of good manners, decorum or of the public peace so to do". However, the Act did abolish the monopoly that the patent houses had in London providing a minor win for playwrights and theatre managers wishing to produce new work.[6][1]

Theatres Act 1968

In 1909, a Joint Select Committee on Stage Plays (Censorship) was established and recommended that the Lord Chamberlain should continue to act as censor but that it could be lawful to perform plays without a licence from the Lord Chamberlain.[1] However, King Edward VII refused to accept these recommendations. The outbreak of both World Wars put an end to any parliamentary initiatives to change the laws regarding theatre censorship for many years. In 1948, the first British Theatre Conference recommended the termination of theatre censorship with the plan to pursue parliamentary action to ratify this.[1][6]

In the 1960s the debate to abolish theatre censorship rose again as a new generation of young playwrights came on the scene. They gained popularity with their new plays in local establishments, but since many were refused a licence by the Lord Chamberlain, they could not transfer to the West End. In the case of John Osborne's play A Patriot for Me, the Lord Chamberlain at the time, Lord Cobbold, was irritated that the play was so widely publicized even though he had banned it and therefore pursued legal action. In the end, the play was allowed to continue as it was. At this point, several widely regarded authors had all been censored by the Lord Chamberlain at one time or another, including playwrights Henrik Ibsen and George Bernard Shaw. Another Joint Select Committee was founded to further debate on the issue and present a solution. This time the argument largely centered around this issue on the portrayal of living and recently dead individuals, particularly in reference to the monarchy as well as politicians.[1][6]

After much debate, the Theatres Act of 1968 was finally passed; it officially abolished the censorship of the stage and repealed the Lord Chamberlain's power to refuse a licence to a play of any kind.[1] The first London performance of the musical Hair was actually delayed until the Act was passed after a licence had been refused.[7]


The battle regarding the abolition of censorship was largely a political one, fought on principle. Those who opposed the termination of this particular duty of the Lord Chamberlain were mostly concerned about how to protect the reputation of the royal family and the political elite instead of controlling obscenity and blasphemy on stage. However, this concern has largely been unfounded. Since the termination of censorship, British Drama has flourished and produced several prominent playwrights and new works since. The abolishment of censorship opened a floodgate of theatrical creativity.[6]

Duties of the office

Charles Sackville, 6th Earl of Dorset by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt (2)
The Earl of Dorset, Lord Chamberlain from 1689 to 1697, holding the white staff of office. (Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt; c. 1697.)

The Lord Chamberlain is the most senior official of the Royal Household and oversees its business, including liaising with the other senior officers of the Household, chairing Heads of Department meetings, and advising in the appointment of senior Household officials.[2][8] The Lord Chamberlain also undertakes ceremonial duties and serves as the channel of communication between the Sovereign and the House of Lords.[2]

The Lord Chamberlain's Office is a department of the Royal Household and its day-to-day work is headed by the Comptroller. It is responsible for organizing ceremonial activities including state visits, investitures, garden parties, the State Opening of Parliament, weddings and funerals.[2]

During ceremonial activities, the Lord Chamberlain carries specific symbols that represent his office. These symbols include a white staff and a key which must be worn at the hip pocket. During a royal funeral, the white staff has been symbolically broken over the grave of the deceased monarch. This was last done by The Earl of Clarendon, who broke his staff over the grave of the King George VI in 1952.[2][8]

The Lord Chamberlain also regulates the design and the wearing of court uniform and dress and how insignia are worn.

List of Lords Chamberlain of the Household from 1399

Henry Carey, 1st Baron Hunsdon

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f Handley, Miriam (2004). The Lord Chamberlain Regrets…: A History of British Theatre Censorship. London, England: British Library. pp. 3–17, 86–87, 140, 149, 162, 169. ISBN 0712348654.
  2. ^ a b c d e "The Lord Chamberlain". Monarchy of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  3. ^ a b Appointment of Lord Chamberlain at the Royal Household official website, 2006 Archived 19 July 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b Bucholz, Robert O., ed. (2006). "Introduction: Administrative structure and work". Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 11 (Revised), Court Officers, 1660-1837. London: University of London.
  5. ^ a b Zarrilli, Phillip B. (2006). Theatre Histories, An Introduction. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 157–158, 188. ISBN 0-415-22727-5.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Thomas, David (2007). Theatre Censorship: From Walpole to Wilson. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. pp. iix–xiii, 2, 4, 36, 53–57, 182–188, 205, 216–225. ISBN 978-0-19-926028-7.
  7. ^ Lewis, Anthony (September 29, 1968). "Londoners Cool To Hair's Nudity Four Letter Words Shock Few At Musical's Debut". New York Times. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
  8. ^ a b "Great Officers of the Household". Debrett's. Archived from the original on 10 October 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca "Lord chamberlains of the royal household in the Oxford DNB". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 6 February 2011. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
  10. ^ "No. 12430". The London Gazette. 8 April 1783. p. 1.
  11. ^ "No. 16581". The London Gazette. 7 March 1812. p. 450.
  12. ^ "No. 17772". The London Gazette. 11 December 1821. p. 2405.
  13. ^ "No. 19221". The London Gazette. 16 December 1834. p. 2266.
  14. ^ "No. 20621". The London Gazette. 10 July 1846. p. 2533.
  15. ^ "No. 20894". The London Gazette. 5 September 1848. p. 3275.
  16. ^ "No. 21297". The London Gazette. 2 March 1852. p. 670.
  17. ^ "No. 21403". The London Gazette. 18 January 1853. p. 137.
  18. ^ "No. 22106". The London Gazette. 2 March 1858. p. 1207.
  19. ^ "No. 22279". The London Gazette. 24 June 1859. p. 2471.
  20. ^ "No. 23137". The London Gazette. 13 July 1866. p. 3984.
  21. ^ "No. 23450". The London Gazette. 15 December 1868. p. 6654.
  22. ^ "No. 24071". The London Gazette. 3 March 1874. p. 1452.
  23. ^ "No. 24721". The London Gazette. 13 May 1879. p. 3311.
  24. ^ "No. 24841". The London Gazette. 4 May 1880. p. 2836.
  25. ^ "No. 25485". The London Gazette. 30 June 1885. p. 3000.
  26. ^ "No. 25558". The London Gazette. 12 February 1886. p. 677.
  27. ^ "No. 25615". The London Gazette. 10 August 1886. p. 3853.
  28. ^ "No. 26644". The London Gazette. 16 July 1895. p. 4022.
  29. ^ "No. 27232". The London Gazette. 25 September 1900. p. 5891.
  30. ^ "No. 27866". The London Gazette. 22 December 1905. p. 9171.
  31. ^ "No. 28581". The London Gazette. 16 February 1912. p. 1169.
  32. ^ "No. 32525". The London Gazette. 22 November 1921. p. 9245.
  33. ^ "No. 42909". The London Gazette. 1 February 1963. p. 979.
  34. ^ "No. 45536". The London Gazette. 3 December 1971. p. 13243.
  35. ^ "No. 49948". The London Gazette. 4 December 1984. p. 16413.

Further reading

  • Stephens, J.R. (1981). The Censorship of English Drama 1824–1901. Cambridge University Press.
  • Johnston, John (1990). The Lord Chamberlain's Blue Pencil. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 0-340-52529-0.
  • de Jongh, Nicholas (2000). Politics, Prudery and Perversions: The Censoring of the English Stage 1901–1968. Methuen. ISBN 0-413-70620-6.
  • Shellard, Dominic; Nicholson, Steve; Handley, Miriam (2004). The Lord Chamberlain Regrets ... A History of British Theatre Censorship. British Library. ISBN 0-7123-4865-4.

External links

Astronomer Royal

Astronomer Royal is a senior post in the Royal Households of the United Kingdom. There are two officers, the senior being the Astronomer Royal dating from 22 June 1675; the second is the Astronomer Royal for Scotland dating from 1834.

The post was created by King Charles II in 1675, at the same time as he founded the Royal Observatory Greenwich. He appointed John Flamsteed, instructing him "forthwith to apply himself with the most exact care and diligence to the rectifying the tables of the motions of the heavens, and the places of the fixed stars, so as to find out the so-much desired longitude of places, for the perfecting the art of navigation."The Astronomer Royal was director of the Royal Observatory Greenwich from the establishment of the post in 1675 until 1972. The Astronomer Royal became an honorary title in 1972 without executive responsibilities and a separate post of Director of the Royal Greenwich Observatory was created to manage the institution.The Astronomer Royal today receives a stipend of 100 GBP per year and is a member of the Royal Household, under the general authority of the Lord Chamberlain. After the separation of the two offices, the position of Astronomer Royal has been largely honorary, though he remains available to advise the Sovereign on astronomical and related scientific matters, and the office is of great prestige.There was also formerly a Royal Astronomer of Ireland.

Bureau of the Royal Household

The Bureau of the Royal Household (BRH) (Thai: สำนักพระราชวัง) is an agency of the monarchy of Thailand. In addition to a range of administrative and ceremonial responsibilities, the bureau also serves as a conduit for royal philanthropy.The FY2019 budget of the Ministry of Royal Households is 6,800 million baht, up from 6,391.4 million baht in FY2018.

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.

David Ogilvy

David Ogilvy may refer to:

David Ogilvy (businessman) (1911–1999), British advertising executive

David Ogilvy (cricketer) (1859–1917), Australian cricketer

David Ogilvy, 9th Earl of Airlie (1785–1849), Scottish representative peer, Lord Lieutenant of Angus 1826–1849

David Ogilvy, 10th Earl of Airlie (1826–1881), his son, Scottish representative peer

David Ogilvy, 11th Earl of Airlie (1856–1900), his son, Scottish soldier and representative peer

David Ogilvy, 12th Earl of Airlie (1893–1968), his son, Scottish Lord Chamberlain 1937–1965, 1936–1967

David Ogilvy, 13th Earl of Airlie (born 1926), his son, Scottish Lord Chamberlain from 1984, Lord Lieutenant of Angus from 1989

David Ogilvy (lawyer) (1804–1871), first president of the Law Institute of Victoria


Dennington is a village and civil parish in the English county of Suffolk. It is 2 miles (3.2 km) north of Framlingham and 15 miles (24 km) north-east of Ipswich in the east of the county. It lies along the A1120 road around 8 miles (13 km) west of the road's junction with the main A12 road in Yoxford.

At the 2011 census Dennington had a population of 578. The parish church is dedicated to St Mary. The village has a primary school, village hall and pub.Dennington is served by occasional bus services. The nearest railway station is at Darsham with an hourly service to either Ipswich or Lowestoft.The tomb of Sir William Phelip, 6th Baron Bardolf, Treasurer of the Household, Lord Chamberlain and hero of the Battle Of Agincourt lies in the south chapel of St Mary's Church.

General Sir Alfred Dudley Ward, GCB, KBE, DSO, DL, British Army officer who saw distinguished active service during the Second World War and later became Governor of Gibraltar, is buried in the churchyard of St Mary's.

John, the Lord Chamberlain series

The John, the Lord Chamberlain series is a series of historical mystery novels by Mary Reed and Eric Mayer. Also known as the "John the Eunuch" mysteries, the novels feature John, Emperor Justinian's Lord Chamberlain, a eunuch who solves mysteries in 6th-century Constantinople. Publishers Weekly praises the series' "Subtle, well-drawn characters, from the ascetic John to the capricious and enigmatic Justinian; deft descriptive detail revealing life in the late Roman Empire; and sharp dialogue make this another winner in this outstanding historical series."

Licensing Act 1737

For the Act concerning the licensing of premises to sell alcohol, see Licensing Act 2003.

The Licensing Act of 1737 is a defunct Act of Parliament in the Kingdom of Great Britain, and a pivotal moment in theatrical history. Its purpose was to control and censor what was being said about the British government through theatre. The act was modified by the Theatres Act 1843 and was finally named as the Theatres Act 1968. The Lord Chamberlain was the official censor and the office of Examiner of Plays was created under the Act. The Examiner assisted the Lord Chamberlain in the task of censoring all plays from 1737–1968. The Examiner read all plays which were to be publicly performed, produced a synopsis and recommended them for licence, consulting the Lord Chamberlain in cases of doubt.

Lord Chamberlain's Men

The Lord Chamberlain's Men was a company of actors, or a "playing company" as it would have been known, for which Shakespeare wrote for most of his career. Richard Burbage played most of the lead roles, including Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth while Shakespeare himself performed some secondary roles. Formed at the end of a period of flux in the theatrical world of London, it had become, by 1603, one of the two leading companies of the city and was subsequently patronized by James I.

It was founded during the reign of Elizabeth I of England in 1594 under the patronage of Henry Carey, 1st Baron Hunsdon, then the Lord Chamberlain, who was in charge of court entertainments. After Carey's death on 23 July 1596, the company came under the patronage of his son, George Carey, 2nd Baron Hunsdon, for whom it was briefly known as Lord Hunsdon's Men. When George Carey in turn became Lord Chamberlain on 17 March 1597, it reverted to its previous name. The company became the King's Men in 1603 when King James ascended the throne and became the company's patron. The company held exclusive rights to perform Shakespeare's plays.

Lord Chamberlain's Office

The Lord Chamberlain's Office is a department within the British Royal Household. It is concerned with matters such as protocol, state visits, investitures, garden parties, the State Opening of Parliament, royal weddings and funerals. For example, in April 2005 it organised the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles. It is also responsible for authorising use of the Royal Arms.

As the Lord Chamberlain is a part-time position the day-to-day work of the Office is conducted by the Comptroller of the Lord Chamberlain's Office.

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).

Lord High Chamberlain of Scotland

Holders of the office of Lord Chamberlain of Scotland are known from about 1124.

It was ranked by King Malcolm as the third great Officer of State, called Camerarius Domini Regis, and had a salary of £200 per annum allotted to him. He anciently collected the revenues of the Crown, at least before Scotland had a Treasurer, of which office there is no vestige of until the restoration of King James I when he disbursed the money necessary for the maintenance of the King's Household.

The Great Chamberlain had jurisdiction for judging of all crimes committed within burgh, and of the crime of forestalling; and was in effect Justice-General over the burghs, and held Chamberlain-ayrs every year for that purpose; the form whereof is set down in Iter Camerarii, the Chamberlain-ayr. He was a supreme judge and his Decrees could not be questioned by any inferior judicatory. His sentences were to be put into execution by the baillies of burghs. He also settled the prices of provisions within burghs, and the fees of the workmen in the Mint.

The Chamberlain lost his financial functions after 1425 to the Treasurer. The position was vacant from 1558 to 1565 and again from 1569. It was occupied in 1580 for the cousin of James I, Esmé Stewart, 1st Duke of Lennox, whose appearance as a Great Officer of State in 1581 is attributable to his personal standing with the king rather than his office. But following the Raid of Ruthven, 24 August 1582, the Great Chamberlain lost his supervision of the royal burghs.

Thereafter the office was held by successive Dukes of Lennox (heritably from 1603) until resigned to the Crown ad perpetuam remanentiam by the Duke of Richmond and Lennox in 1703, since which time no Great Chamberlain has been appointed. In 1711 a form of the office was revived in a Commission of Chamberlainry and Trade, which lapsed on the death of Queen Anne.

Master of the Revels

The Master of the Revels was the holder of a position within the English, and later the British, royal household, heading the "Revels Office" or "Office of the Revels". The Master of the Revels was an executive officer under the Lord Chamberlain. Originally he was responsible for overseeing royal festivities, known as revels, and he later also became responsible for stage censorship, until this function was transferred to the Lord Chamberlain in 1624. However, Henry Herbert, the deputy Master of the Revels and later the Master, continued to perform the function on behalf of the Lord Chamberlain until the English Civil War in 1642, when stage plays were prohibited. The office continued almost until the end of the 18th century, although with rather reduced status.

Richard Luce, Baron Luce

Richard Napier Luce, Baron Luce, (born 14 October 1936) is former Lord Chamberlain to the Queen from 2000 to 2006, and has been Governor of Gibraltar, a Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) and Government Minister. He now sits as a crossbench peer.

Theatres Act 1843

The Theatres Act 1843 (6 & 7 Vict., c. 68) (also known as the Theatre Regulation Act) is a defunct Act of Parliament in the United Kingdom. It amended the regime established under the Licensing Act 1737 for the licensing of the theatre in Great Britain, implementing the proposals made by a select committee of the House of Commons in 1832.

Under the Licensing Act 1737 (10 Geo.II, c. 28), the Lord Chamberlain was granted the ability to vet the performance of any new plays: he could prevent any new play, or any modification to an existing play, from being performed for any reason, and was not required to justify his decision. New plays were required to be submitted to the Lord Chamberlain for a licence before they could be performed, and theatre owners could be prosecuted for staging a play (or part of a play) that had not received prior approval. A licence, once granted, could be also withdrawn. The Licensing Act 1737 also limited spoken drama to the patent theatres, originally only the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and Theatre Royal, Covent Garden in London. The regime was relaxed slightly by the Theatrical Representations Act 1788, under which local magistrates were permitted to license occasional performances for periods of up to 60 days.

The Theatres Act 1843 restricted the powers of the Lord Chamberlain, so that he could only prohibit the performance of plays where he was of the opinion that "it is fitting for the preservation of good manners, decorum or of the public peace so to do". It also gave additional powers to local authorities to license theatres, breaking the monopoly of the patent theatres and encouraging the development of popular theatrical entertainments, such as saloon theatres attached to public houses and music halls.

The regime established by the 1843 Act was considered by a select committee of the House of Commons in 1866, and two Parliamentary Joint Select Committees, in 1909 and then in 1966, and various reforms were proposed, but no changes were implemented until the Act was finally repealed by the Theatres Act 1968.

Thomas Stonor, 7th Baron Camoys

Ralph Thomas Campion George Sherman Stonor, 7th Baron Camoys (born 16 April 1940), is a British peer and banker who served as Lord Chamberlain of the United Kingdom from 1998 to 2000, and the first Roman Catholic Lord Chamberlain since the Reformation.

To the Queen

"To the Queen" (or "To The Queen by the players") is a short 18 line poem praising Queen Elizabeth I attributed to William Shakespeare. It was included in 2007 by Jonathan Bate in his complete Shakespeare edition for the Royal Shakespeare Company.The poem, described by Bate as having been written on "the back of an envelope", was probably composed as an epilogue for a performance of a play in the presence of the queen. Bate believes it was created to be read after As You Like It was given at court on Shrove Tuesday in February 1599. American scholars William Ringler and Steven May discovered the poem in 1972 in the notebook of a man called Henry Stanford, who is known to have worked in the household of the Lord Chamberlain. Other scholars have since contested the attribution to Shakespeare.

Vice-Chamberlain of the Household

The Vice-Chamberlain of the Household is a member of the Royal Household of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. The office-holder is usually a junior government whip in the British House of Commons ranking third or fourth after the Chief Whip and the Deputy Chief Whip. He or she is the Deputy to the Lord Chamberlain of the Household. The Vice-Chamberlain's main roles are to compile a daily private report to the Sovereign on proceedings in the House of Commons and to relay addresses from the Commons to the Sovereign and back. As a member of the Royal Household, the Vice-Chamberlain accompanies the Sovereign and Royal Household at certain diplomatic and social events, particularly the annual garden party at Buckingham Palace. When the Sovereign goes in procession to Westminster for the State Opening of Parliament, the Vice-Chamberlain stays and is "held captive" at Buckingham Palace. This custom began with the Restoration (1660), because of the previous Vice-Chamberlain's role in the beheading of Charles I.Notable holders of the office include Sir George Carteret, Lord Hervey, the Earl of Harrington, the Earl Spencer, Michael Stewart and Bernard Weatherill.

William Cavendish, 6th Duke of Devonshire

William George Spencer Cavendish, 6th Duke of Devonshire, (21 May 1790 – 18 January 1858), styled Marquess of Hartington until 1811, was a British peer, courtier, nobleman, and Whig politician. Known as the "Bachelor Duke", he was Lord Chamberlain of the Household between 1827 and 1828 and again between 1830 and 1834. The Cavendish banana is named after him.

William Peel, 3rd Earl Peel

William James Robert Peel, 3rd Earl Peel, (born 3 October 1947), styled Viscount Clanfield until 1969, was a Conservative peer from 15 May 1973 until October 2006 when, on his appointment as Lord Chamberlain of the Royal Household, he became a crossbench (non-party) member of the House of Lords.

Household Officials

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