Roy Clare

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Roy Clare
Born 30 September 1950
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Rank Rear admiral
Commands held
Awards CBE

Roy Alexander George Clare CBE (b. 30 September 1950,[1] Hammersmith, London) was Chief Executive of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council 2007-2011.[2] The MLA closed down in May 2012 as part of a UK government initiative.[3] In April 2011 he was appointed director of the Auckland War Memorial Museum in New Zealand, replacing interim director Sir Don McKinnon.[4]

Early life and naval career[edit]

He moved with his family from London to Cape Town, South Africa, where he attended St George's Grammar School.

He joined the Royal Navy as a seaman at HMS Ganges in 1966, aged 15, and rose to become a rear admiral in 1999 before leaving the service in 2000.[1]

During his naval career he studied at the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth (passing out in 1972 as the winner of that year's Queen's Sword of Honour), the Royal Naval Staff College, Greenwich, and the Royal College of Defence Studies. He was Military Assistant to the Minister of State for the Armed Forces and, later, the Assistant Director of Navy Plans (Ships).

His commands included the minehunter Bronington[Note 1] the destroyers Birmingham (1987–89) and York, and the aircraft carrier Invincible (1996–97).[5] He was Captain of the Third Destroyer Squadron in 1991-92 and between 1998-99 was Commodore of the Britannia Royal Naval College, where he was responsible for preparing new entrant officers for their careers. While Commodore at the College he founded the Britannia Museum, opening the college to the public for the first time.[1][5]

Museums career[edit]

As director of the National Maritime Museum between 2000 and 2007[1] he oversaw a series of exhibitions, including Elizabeth, Skin Deep and Nelson & Napoleon. He instigated SeaBritain 2005,[5] a partnership with Visit Britain and sixty other organisations to commemorate the bicentenary of Admiral Nelson's victory in the Battle of Trafalgar.

He also led a major re-structuring of collections management, including the creation of a comprehensive inventory, improved conservation facilities and a partnership project with Chatham Historic Dockyard to display and store models of ships. He initiated the £16 million Time and Space project to restore buildings at the Royal Observatory, create new galleries and education spaces, build a 120 seat planetarium - the Peter Harrison Planetarium - and generally upgrade the visitor facilities.[5] The refurbished Royal Observatory was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in May 2007.[6]

During this time he was also Director of Queens House, the Caird Library and the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. From 2001 to 2007 he was also chairman of a leadership working-group established by the National Museum Directors' Conference called the Greenwich Forum.[1][7] He was a trustee of the historic vessel HMS Bronington between 1989 and 1999, after she was decommissioned from the Royal Navy; he was also vice-president of the Bronington Trust between 1999-2002. Between 2005 and 2007 he was a member of the board of Creative and Cultural Skills (a Sector Skills Council for museums) and he has been a member of the board of the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency since 2009.[1][5] From 2007 he has was chief executive of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, of which he had been a board member during the previous year.[1]

Clare has also been chairman of Living Places, a grouping of UK cultural agencies which aims to foster the benefits of cultural and sporting opportunities in the community. The five agencies involved in the project as at February 2011 are the Arts Council England, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), English Heritage, the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council and Sport England.[8][9]

He edited the book HMS Bronington: A Tribute to One of Britain's Last Wooden Walls And a Celebration of The Ton Class, which was published in 1996.

In April 2011 he was appointed director of the Auckland War Memorial Museum in New Zealand, replacing interim director Sir Don McKinnon.[4]


He was appointed CBE in 2007 "for services to museums"[2] and in the same year he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Greenwich.[5]

He was awarded the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal in 1977 and also the General Service Medal in 1977 and in 1989. He was made a Freeman of the City of London in 2001, of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights in 2002 and of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers in 2004.[1]

In 2001 he became a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute; and he was a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation between 2005 and 2008.[1]

Personal life[edit]

A keen yachtsman, Clare was chief mate of the Royal Navy yacht Adventure in the first Whitbread round the world race.[1] He and his wife Sarah[7] have a son and two daughters. Their home is in Essex on the Blackwater Estuary where they keep a sailing boat. He is a naval member of the Royal Yacht Squadron.


  1. ^ Clare was the first lieutenant from 1975 to 1977 with the Prince of Wales as the captain, and then commanded Bronington from 1980 to 1981.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Roy Clare CBE: Authorised Biography". Debrett's People of Today. Debrett's. Retrieved 11 February 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Roy Clare, CBE". The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. Retrieved 11 February 2011. 
  3. ^ "MLA to be abolished". The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. Retrieved 11 February 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "New director for Auckland War Memorial Museum appointed". Public. The New Zealand Herald. 14 April 2011. Retrieved 14 April 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Rear Admiral Roy Clare CBE Awarded Honorary Degree". University of Greenwich. 23 October 2007. Retrieved 11 February 2011. 
  6. ^ "Re-opening of the new Royal Observatory, Greenwich". National Maritime Museum. May 2007. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "Roy Clare". CILIP Conferences. 2007. Retrieved 11 February 2011. 
  8. ^ "About us". Living Places. Retrieved 11 February 2011. 
  9. ^ "Interview: Roy Clare". Public. The Guardian. 28 July 2009. Retrieved 11 February 2011.