Honorary Chaplain to the Queen

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An Honorary Chaplain to the Queen (QHC)[1] is a member of the clergy within the United Kingdom who, through long and distinguished service, is appointed to minister to the monarch of the United Kingdom. Although usually an Anglican priest or a Church of Scotland minister, a member of the clergy from any faith tradition may be appointed. When George VI reigned, Honorary Chaplains were known as Honorary Chaplains to the King (KHC). At present there are 33 appointees.[2] They are also known as Honorary Chaplains to the Sovereign.[3]

Honorary Chaplains wear a scarlet cassock and a special bronze badge consisting of the royal cypher and crown within an oval wreath. The badge is worn below medal ribbons or miniature medals during the conduct of religious services on the left side of the scarf by chaplains who wear the scarf and on academic or ordinary clerical dress by other chaplains.[4]

Ten ministers of the Church of Scotland are appointed as Chaplains to the Queen in Scotland. As of 2015, the Dean of the Chapel Royal in Scotland is the Very Reverend Iain Torrance.

The monarch may also, as circumstances dictate, appoint extra chaplains.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Acronym website
  2. ^ Crockford's Clerical Directory2008/2009 Lambeth, Church House Publishing ISBN 978-0-7151-1030-0
  3. ^ Chapter 7 - Distinguishing Insignia - Royal Air Force
  4. ^ "A history of ecclesiastical dress", Mayo, J: London, Batsford, 1984 ISBN 0-7134-3764-2
  5. ^ London Gazette 27 October 1989