Life and career
Peat was born in 1949 and is great-grandson of William Barclay Peat, founder of the accountancy firm of Peat Marwick. He was educated at Eton College and at Trinity College, University of Oxford, where he received an MA degree. He later attended the INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France, and obtained an MBA degree in 1977. He became an Associate Chartered Accountant in 1965 and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in 1975.
Peat joined KPMG Peat Marwick Mitchell in 1972, became a partner in 1985. He led a 1986 study into the financial management of the Royal Household. From 1987 to 1990, he was the auditor of the Privy Purse and administrative adviser to the Royal Household. In 1990, he was appointed Director of Finance and Property Services of the Royal Household, while remaining a partner at KPMG. He retired from KPMG in 1993, and in 1996 was appointed Keeper of the Privy Purse and Treasurer to the Queen, and Receiver General of the Duchy of Lancaster. He retired from these positions in 2002, when he was appointed as private secretary to the Prince of Wales, taking control of the Office of the Prince of Wales. In 2005 he was made Principal Private Secretary to TRH The Prince of Wales & The Duchess of Cornwall.
However, Peat stepped down as the Prince of Wales' Private Secretary on 24 January 2011. He continues to undertake investment and financial projects for the Prince and provide advice on a part-time basis. Peat is replaced as Principal Private Secretary by Mr William Nye, formerly Director of the National Security Secretariat, Cabinet Office; a career civil servant with experience working at the Home Office and the Treasury.
Peat was made a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) in 1994, promoted to a Knight Commander (KCVO) in 1998, and promoted again to Knight Grand Cross (GCVO) of the same order on 17 October 2011.
- "Sir Michael Peat: Right hand man." BBC. 6 November 2003.
- "Sir Michael Peat: The royal axe man." BBC. 13 November 2003.
- "The Guardian profile: Sir Michael Peat." The Guardian. 25 February 2005.
Major Sir Shane Blewitt
|Keeper of the Privy Purse
Sir Alan Reid
Sir Stephen Lamport
|Private Secretary to the Prince of Wales