Michael Boyce, Baron Boyce

Admiral of the Fleet Michael Cecil Boyce, Baron Boyce, KG, GCB, OBE, KStJ, DL (born 2 April 1943) is a retired Royal Navy officer who now sits as a crossbench member of the House of Lords.

Boyce commanded three submarines and then a frigate before achieving higher command in the Navy and serving as First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff from 1998 to 2001 and then as Chief of the Defence Staff from 2001 to 2003. As Chief of Defence Staff he is believed to have had concerns about US plans for a national missile defence system. In early 2003 he advised the British Government on the deployment of troops for the invasion of Iraq, seeking assurances as to the legitimacy of the deployment before it was allowed to proceed.

The Lord Boyce
Lord Boyce
Boyce in 2012
Born2 April 1943 (age 76)
Cape Town, South Africa
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchRoyal Navy
Years of service1961–2003
RankAdmiral of the Fleet
Commands heldChief of the Defence Staff (2001–03)
First Sea Lord (1998–01)
Commander-in-Chief Fleet (1997–98)
Naval Home Command (1995–97)
HMS Brilliant (1983–84)
HMS Superb (1979–81)
HMS Opossum (1974–76)
HMS Oberon (1973–74)
Battles/warsIraq War
AwardsKnight of the Order of the Garter
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Officer of the Order of the British Empire
Knight of Justice of the Order of Saint John
Commander of the Legion of Merit (United States)
Other workLord Warden of the Cinque Ports (2004–present)

Naval career

Hurstpierpoint College Inner Quad
Hurstpierpoint College, where Boyce was educated

The son of Commander Hugh Boyce DSC and Madeline (née Manley), Boyce was educated at Hurstpierpoint College and the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth.[1] He joined the Royal Navy as a cadet in 1961 and, having trained as a submariner,[1] was confirmed in the rank of sub-lieutenant on 10 December 1965,[2] promoted to lieutenant on 30 August 1966,[3] and saw service in the submarines HMS Anchorite, HMS Valiant and HMS Conqueror.[1] He completed the Submarine Command Course in 1973,[4] became commanding officer of the submarine HMS Oberon in the same year and, having been promoted to lieutenant commander on 8 January 1974,[5] was given command of the submarine HMS Opossum later that year.[1]

Promoted to the rank of commander on 30 June 1976,[6] Boyce became commanding officer of the submarine HMS Superb in 1979.[1] He was posted to the Directorate of Naval Plans at the Ministry of Defence in 1981 and appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 1982 Birthday Honours,[4][7] before being promoted to captain on 30 June 1982.[8] He was given command of the frigate HMS Brilliant in January 1983, and returned to the Ministry of Defence as Captain, Submarine Sea Training in 1984.[1] He attended the Royal College of Defence Studies in 1988 and then became Senior Naval Officer in the Middle East in 1989.[1] He went on to be Director of Naval Staff Duties at the Ministry of Defence in August 1989. Following promotion to rear admiral, he became Flag Officer Sea Training in July 1991.[1] He became Flag Officer, Surface Flotilla and NATO Commander of the Anti-Submarine Warfare Striking Force in November 1992.[1]

Promoted to vice admiral in February 1994,[4] Boyce was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in the 1995 New Year Honours.[9] He was promoted to full admiral on 25 May 1995, on appointment as Second Sea Lord and Commander-in-Chief Naval Home Command,[4] and went on to be Commander-in-Chief Fleet as well as NATO Commander-in-Chief Eastern Atlantic and NATO Commander Allied Naval Forces North West Europe in September 1997.[1]

HMS Superb MOD 45138106
The submarine HMS Superb which Boyce commanded in the late 1970s

Boyce became First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff in October 1998 and was advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath in the 1999 Birthday Honours.[10] He was appointed Chief of the Defence Staff in February 2001,[1] and in that role is believed to have had concerns about US plans for a national missile defence system.[4] In early 2003 he advised the British Government on the deployment of troops for the invasion of Iraq, seeking assurances as to the legitimacy of the deployment before it was allowed to proceed.[11] He was appointed a Knight of Justice of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem on 27 November 2002,[12] and retired as Chief of Defence Staff on 7 November 2003.[13]

Later career

Boyce was created a life peer as Baron Boyce, of Pimlico in the City of Westminster, on 16 June 2003[14] and was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London on 19 December 2003.[15] He was also appointed a non-executive director of WS Atkins plc in May 2004[16] and Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports on 10 December 2004, succeeding Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in that role.[17] He became chairman of the Royal Navy Club of 1765 & 1785 (United 1889) in 2004.[18]

In May 2005 Boyce was among the several retired Chiefs of Defence Staff who spoke in the House of Lords about the risk to servicemen facing liability for their actions – for which he claims politicians are ultimately responsible – before the International Criminal Court.[19] He gave evidence to The Iraq Inquiry on 3 December 2009.[20] He was created a Knight Companion of the Order of the Garter in April 2011[21] and is currently a member of the Top Level Group of UK Parliamentarians for Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament and Non-proliferation.[22]

Boyce is also Patron of the Submariners Association,[23] Dover College,[24] the Dover War Memorial Project[25] and of Kent Search and Rescue[26] as well as being an Elder Brother of Trinity House[1] and Chairman of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.[27] He takes a keen interest in sports.[27] In 2013 he was elected Master of the Drapers' Company.[28] He has been the president of the Pilgrims Society, the Royal Navy Submarine Museum and Hastings charity, the Winkle Club,[29] as well as a trustee of the Naval and Military Club.[30]

Boyce was appointed as an honorary admiral of the fleet in the Queen's 2014 Birthday Honours.[31]


In 1971 Boyce married Harriette Gail Fletcher, by whom he had one son and one daughter.[1] Following the dissolution of his first marriage, he married Fleur Margaret Anne Rutherford (née Smith).[1] Lady Boyce died in 2016 at the age of 67.[32]


Order of the Garter UK ribbon Knight of the Order of the Garter (KG) 2011[21]
Order of the Bath UK ribbon Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB) 1999[10]
Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) 1995[9]
Order of the British Empire (Military) Ribbon Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) 1982[7]
Order of St John (UK) ribbon Knight of the Order of Saint John 27 November 2002[12]
Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal ribbon Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal 2002 [33]
QEII Diamond Jubilee Medal ribbon Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal 2012[33]
Ribbon - Naval Long Service and Good Conduct Medal v3 Naval Long Service and Good Conduct Medal 2017
US Legion of Merit Commander ribbon Legion of Merit 1999 [34][35]


Lord Warden Cinque Ports (Lord Boyce)
Boyce's banner as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Who's Who 2010, A & C Black, 2010, ISBN 978-1-408-11414-8.
  2. ^ "No. 43836". The London Gazette. 10 December 1965. p. 11545.
  3. ^ "No. 44099". The London Gazette. 30 August 1966. p. 9588.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Profile: Admiral Sir Michael Boyce". BBC News. 8 October 2001. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
  5. ^ "No. 46174". The London Gazette (Supplement). 7 January 1974. p. 264.
  6. ^ "No. 46953". The London Gazette (Supplement). 5 July 1976. p. 9281.
  7. ^ a b "No. 49008". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 June 1982. p. 5.
  8. ^ "No. 49047". The London Gazette (Supplement). 12 July 1982. p. 9145.
  9. ^ a b "No. 53893". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1994. p. 2.
  10. ^ a b "No. 55513". The London Gazette (Supplement). 12 June 1999. p. 2.
  11. ^ "Iraq war inquiry: Top admiral told 'regime change not the goal' by Blair". The Guardian. 27 January 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
  12. ^ a b "No. 56766". The London Gazette. 27 November 2002. p. 14391.
  13. ^ "No. 57019". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 November 2003. p. 13881.
  14. ^ "No. 56977". The London Gazette. 20 June 2003. p. 7693.
  15. ^ "No. 57172". The London Gazette. 8 January 2004. p. 209.
  16. ^ "Board of Directors". Atkins. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
  17. ^ "No. 57496". The London Gazette. 15 December 2004. p. 15732.
  18. ^ "Royal Navy Club of 1765 & 1785 (United 1889)". Retrieved 19 August 2012.
  19. ^ "Why Britain's top soldier would not end up in the dock over Iraq". The Telegraph. 2 May 2005. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
  20. ^ "The US 'assumed' UK participation in Iraq, inquiry told". BBC News. BBC. 3 December 2009. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
  21. ^ a b "Lord Phillips and Admiral Boyce made Knights of Garter". BBC News. 23 April 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
  22. ^ "Nuclear-free world ultimate aim of new cross-party pressure group". The Guardian. 8 September 2009. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
  23. ^ "Welsh Submariners Association". Archived from the original on 13 March 2013. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
  24. ^ "Dover College". Archived from the original on 22 December 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  25. ^ "The Dover War Memorial Project". Retrieved 19 August 2012.
  26. ^ "Application Pack" (PDF). Kent Search and Rescue. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  27. ^ a b "Governance". Royal National Lifeboat Institution. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
  28. ^ "HMS Monmouth strengthens links with Drapers' Company". Royal Navy. 16 July 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  29. ^ "Winkle club president caught without winkle". Hastings & St Leonard's Observer. 28 May 2008. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  30. ^ "Lord Boyce". UK Parliament. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  31. ^ "2014 Birthday Honours for service personnel and defence civilians". Ministry of Defence. 13 June 2014. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
  32. ^ "Boyce". The Telegraph. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  33. ^ a b "Freemen – Dover's Bygone Rulers". Dover Mercury. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  34. ^ "The Peerage: A genealogical survey of the peerage of Britain as well as the royal families of Europe". Hon. Peter Lathallan Spens. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  35. ^ The International Who's Who 2004. Europa Publications. 2003. ISBN 978-1857432176.
Military offices
Preceded by
Bruce Richardson
Flag Officer Sea Training
Succeeded by
John Tolhurst
Preceded by
Sir Michael Layard
Second Sea Lord
Succeeded by
Sir John Brigstocke
Preceded by
Sir Peter Abbott
Commander-in-Chief Fleet
Succeeded by
Sir Nigel Essenhigh
Preceded by
Sir Jock Slater
First Sea Lord
Preceded by
Sir Charles Guthrie
Chief of the Defence Staff
Succeeded by
Sir Michael Walker
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother
Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports
Heraldic offices
Preceded by
Sir Brian Kenny
King of Arms of the Order of the Bath
Succeeded by
Sir Stephen Dalton
April 2

April 2 is the 92nd day of the year (93rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. 273 days remain until the end of the year.

Boyce (surname)

Boyce is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Ann Boyce (1827–1914), New Zealand pioneer and herbalist

Cameron Boyce (1999–2019), American actor

Cameron Boyce (cricketer) (born 1988), Australian cricketer

Charles Boyce (born 1949), American cartoonist

Charles Boyce (footballer) (1899–1964), Scottish footballer

Christopher John Boyce (born 1953), American who sold spy satellite secrets to the USSR

Darryl Boyce (born 1984), Canadian ice hockey player with the Toronto Marlies of the AHL

Emmerson Boyce (born 1979), English footballer

Ethel Boyce, Canadian ballplayer in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League

Francis Bertie Boyce "Archbishop Boyce" (1844–1931), Australian social reformer

Francis Stewart Boyce (1872–1940), his son, Australian politician and judge

Frank Cottrell Boyce (born 1959), British writer

Frank M. Boyce (1851–1931), New York politician

George Boyce (disambiguation), several people, includingGeorge W. G. Boyce Jr. (died 1944), United States Army officer and Medal of Honor recipient

George Price Boyce (1826–1897), British watercolor painter

George Boyce (Canadian politician) (1848–1930), Unionist MP for Carleton, 1917–1921

D. G. Boyce (D. George Boyce, born 1942), Northern Irish historianJames Boyce (disambiguation), several people including:James F. Boyce, Sr. (1868–1935), American industrial chemist

James Boyce (Louisiana politician) (1922–1990), American politician

James Petigru Boyce (1827–1888), theologian and Southern Seminary founderKevin Boyce (born 1971), American Democrat, Ohio State Treasurer

Mary Boyce (1920–2006), British scholar of Iranian languages and authority on Zoroastrianism

Mary Cunningham Boyce, American academic and engineer

Max Boyce (born 1943), Welsh singer and comedian

Michael Boyce (disambiguation), several people:Michael Boyce, Baron Boyce (born 1943), First Sea Lord of the Royal Navy and Chief of Defence Staff

Michael Boyce (field hockey) (born 1980), Australian field hockey playerPhilip Boyce (born 1940), Catholic bishop

Raymond Boyce (1891–1941), Australian cricketer

Raymond F. Boyce (1947–1974), co-inventor of relational database query language SQL

Samuel Boyce (died 1775), dramatist and poet

Sue Boyce (born 1951), Australian politician, businesswoman and disability advocate

Todd Boyce (born 1961), Anglo-American actor

Tommy Boyce (1939–1994), of the American songwriters Boyce and Hart

William Boyce (disambiguation), several people, including:William Boyce (composer) (1711–1779), English-born composer and Master of the King's Musick

William Binnington Boyce (1804–1889), English-born philologist and clergyman, active in Australia

William D. Boyce (1858–1929), founder of the Boy Scouts of America

William H. Boyce (1855–1942), jurist and U.S. representative from Delaware

William Waters Boyce (1818–1890), U.S. Confederate congressional delegate

Endorsements in the 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum

A number of politicians, public figures, newspapers and magazines, businesses and other organisations endorsed either the United Kingdom remaining in the EU or the United Kingdom leaving the EU during the 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum.

List of Knights and Ladies of the Garter

The Most Noble Order of the Garter was founded by Edward III of England in 1348. Dates shown are of nomination or installation; coloured rows indicate Princes of Wales, Royal Knights & Ladies and Stranger Knights & Ladies, none of whom counts toward the 24-member limit.

List of military veterans in British politics

This is a list of currently serving (2016) members House of Commons, House of Lords, Scottish Parliament, National Assembly for Wales, Northern Ireland Assembly, Police and Crime Commissioner and UK members of the European Parliament who are Military veterans.

Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports

The Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports is a ceremonial official in the United Kingdom. The post dates from at least the 12th century, when the title was Keeper of the Coast, but may be older. The Lord Warden was originally in charge of the Cinque Ports, a group of five (cinque in Norman French) port towns on the southeast coast of England that was formed to collectively supply ships for The Crown in the absence at the time of a formal navy. Today the role is a sinecure and an honorary title, and 14 towns belong to the Cinque Ports confederation. The title is one of the higher honours bestowed by the Sovereign; it has often been held by members of the Royal Family or Prime Ministers, especially those who have been influential in defending Britain at times of war.

The Lord Warden was solely responsible for the return of all writs to the Crown, along with the collection of taxes and the arrest of criminals. His court was held in St James's church, near Dover Castle, and there he exercised jurisdiction broadly equivalent to that of Chancery. He also had a "lieutenant's powers of muster", and the Constableship of Dover Castle, later added (1267) to the Warden's office, enabled him to keep a garrison and administrative staff, including the Clerk and the Lieutenant of the Castle.

The coat of arms of the Cinque Ports first appeared in 1305, second amongst the earliest English known heraldic emblems, predating even the coat of arms of the City of London. The coat of arms of the Cinque Ports displays three ships' hulls and three lions passant guardant conjoined to these hulls, all in gold. These may originally have been Gules three lions passant gardant in pale Or (for England) dimidiating Gules three ships' hulks in pale Or. The coat of arms of the Confederation of the Cinque Ports is set out on a red and blue background and traditionally represents the 14 "Corporate" Members.

Michael Boyce

Michael Boyce may refer to:

Michael Boyce, Baron Boyce (born 1943), former First Sea Lord of the Royal Navy and Chief of Defence Staff

Michael Boyce (field hockey) (born 1980), Australian field hockey player

Naval and Military Club

The Naval and Military Club, known informally as The In & Out, is a private members club located in St James's Square, London, originally for gentlemen of the British Armed Forces. It now accepts both female and male members.

The Club was founded in 1862 by six officers, chiefly from the Buffs, because the three then existing military clubs in London – the United Service, the Junior United Service, and the Army and Navy – were all full.

Old Johnians (Hurstpierpoint College)

Hurstpierpoint College is an independent, co-educational, day and boarding school for pupils aged 4–18, located just to the north of the village of Hurstpierpoint, West Sussex. The College was founded in 1849 by Canon Nathaniel Woodard and is a member of the Woodard Corporation.

Coat of arms of Michael Boyce, Baron Boyce
Coat of Arms of Michael, Baron Boyce
Created a life peer as Baron Boyce in 2003
Coronet of a Baron
A Foul Anchor Or, pendent from the crossbar by its tail a Mouse Opossum Argent, the eye ring and claws Azure.
Azure, three interlacing Annulets Or, each held in the mouth by an Heraldis Dolphin embowed all in pairle Argent, finned Or.
On either side a Sea-Lion Argent, winged finned and navally gorged Or, each grasping with the interior paw a Sword Argent, hilt pommel and quillions Or.
IPSIS FRETUS IMPEDIMENTIS POSSUM (I can trust myself with hindrances)
Order of the Garter circlet
The collar as Grand Cross Knight of the Order of the Bath (Appointed KCB 1995 & GCB 1999)
The badge as Officer of the Order of the British Empire
Garter Banner of the Baron Boyce.svg The banner of the Baron Boyce's arms used as knight of the Garter depicted at St George's Chapel.
Senior Naval Lords (1689–1771)
First Naval Lords (1771–1904)
First Sea Lords (1904–present)
Ex officio
Knights and Ladies
Royal Knights
and Ladies
Stranger Knights
and Ladies


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