|Lord Chamberlain of the Household|
|Member of||Royal Household of the United Kingdom|
|Appointer||Sovereign of the United Kingdom|
The Lord Chamberlain or Lord Chamberlain of the Household is the senior officer of the Royal Household of the United Kingdom, overseeing the departments which support and provide advice to the Sovereign of the United Kingdom.
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.
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.
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.
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. That Act was replaced by the Theatres Act 1843, which 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". This duty was abolished by the Theatres Act 1968; the first London performance of the musical Hair was delayed until the Act was passed, after a licence had been refused.
The Lord Chamberlain is the 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. The Lord Chamberlain also undertakes ceremonial duties and serves as the channel of communication between the Sovereign and the House of Lords.
The Lord Chamberlain's Office is a department of the Royal Household and is headed by the Comptroller. It is responsible for organising ceremonial activities including state visits, investitures, garden parties, the State Opening of Parliament, weddings and funerals.
He 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
|Thomas Erpingham, from 1400 Sir Thomas||1399||1404|||
|The Lord Grey of Codnor||1404||1413|||
|The Lord FitzHugh||1413||1425|||
|The Lord Cromwell||c. 1425||1432||First period in office|||
|The Lord Bardolf||1432||1441|||
|Sir Ralph Boteler,
from 1441 The Lord Sudeley
|The Lord Saye and Sele||1447||1450|||
|The Lord Cromwell||1450||1455||Second period in office|||
from 1456 The Lord Stanley
|The Earl of Salisbury||1460||1460|||
|The Lord Hastings||1461||1470||First period in office|||
|Unknown||1470||1471||Second reign of Henry VI|
|The Lord Hastings||1471||1483||Second period in office|||
|The Viscount Lovell||1483||1485|||
|Sir William Stanley||1485||1494|||
|The Lord Herbert,
from 1514 The Earl of Worcester
|The Earl of Arundel||1526||1530|
|The Lord Sandys||1530||1540|||
|The Lord St John||1543||1545||Created The Earl of Wiltshire in 1550 and The Marquess of Winchester in 1551|||
|The Earl of Arundel||1546||1550|||
|The Lord Wentworth||1550||1551|||
|The Lord Darcy of Chiche||1551||1553|||
|Sir John Gage||1553||1556|||
|Sir Edward Hastings
from 1558 The Lord Hastings of Loughborough
|The Lord Howard of Effingham||1558||1572|||
|The Earl of Sussex||1572||1583|||
|The Lord Hunsdon||1585||1596|||
|The Lord Cobham||1596||1597|||
|The Lord Hunsdon||1597||1603|||
|Lord Thomas Howard,
from 1603 The Earl of Suffolk
|The Earl of Somerset||1614||1615|||
|The Earl of Pembroke||1615||1626|||
|The Earl of Montgomery,
from 1630 The Earl of Pembroke
|The Earl of Essex||1641||1642|||
|The Earl of Dorset||1644||1649|||
|Vacant||1649||1655||Position became vacant at the start of the Interregnum and the Commonwealth|
|Sir Gilbert Pickering, Bt||1655||1659||Lord Chamberlain during The Protectorate|||
|The Earl of Manchester||1660||1671|||
|The Earl of St Albans||1672||1674|||
|The Earl of Arlington||1674||1685|||
|The Earl of Elgin and Earl of Ailesbury||1685||1685|||
|The Earl of Mulgrave||1685||1688||Created The Marquess of Normanby in 1694 and The Duke of Buckingham and Normanby in 1703|||
|The Earl of Dorset||1689||1697|||
|The Earl of Sunderland||1697||1697|||
|Vacant||1697||1699||The King did not accept the resignation of the Earl of Sunderland|
|The Duke of Shrewsbury||1699||1700|||
|The Earl of Jersey||1700||1704|||
|The Earl of Kent, from 1706 The Marquess of Kent||1704||1710||Created The Duke of Kent in 1710 and The Marquess Grey in 1740|||
|The Duke of Shrewsbury||1710||1715|||
|The Duke of Bolton||1715||1717|||
|The Duke of Newcastle||1717||1724|||
|The Duke of Grafton||1724||1757|||
|The Duke of Devonshire||1757||1762|||
|The Duke of Marlborough||1762||1763|||
|The Earl Gower||1763||1765||Created The Marquess of Stafford in 1786|||
|The Duke of Portland||1765||1766|||
|The Earl of Hertford||1766||1782||First period in office; created The Marquess of Hertford in 1793|||
|The Duke of Manchester||1782||1783|||
|The Earl of Hertford||1783||1783||Second period in office; created The Marquess of Hertford in 1793|||
|The Earl of Salisbury,
from 1789 The Marquess of Salisbury
|The Earl of Dartmouth||1804||1810|||
|The Marquess of Hertford||1812||1821|||
|The Duke of Montrose||1821||1827||First period in office|||
|The Duke of Devonshire||1827||1828||First period in office|||
|The Duke of Montrose||1828||1830||Second period in office|||
|The Earl of Jersey||1830||1830||First period in office|||
|The Duke of Devonshire||1830||1834||Second period in office|||
|The Earl of Jersey||1834||1835||Second period in office|||
|The Marquess Wellesley||1835||1835|||
|The Marquess Conyngham||1835||1839|
|Earl of Uxbridge||1839||1841||Succeeded as The Marquess of Anglesey in 1854|
|The Earl De La Warr||1841||1846||First period in office|||
|The Earl Spencer||1846||1848|||
|The Marquess of Breadalbane||1848||1852||First period in office|||
|The Marquess of Exeter||1852||1852|||
|The Marquess of Breadalbane||1853||1858||Second period in office|||
|The Earl De La Warr||1858||1859||Second period in office|||
|The Viscount Sydney||1859||1866||First period in office|||
|The Earl of Bradford||1866||1868|||
|The Viscount Sydney||1868||1874||Second period in office; created The Earl Sydney in 1874|||
|The Marquess of Hertford||1874||1879|||
|The Earl of Mount Edgcumbe||1879||1880|||
|The Earl of Kenmare||1880||1885||First period in office|||
|The Earl of Lathom||1885||1886||First period in office|||
|The Earl of Kenmare||1886||1886||Second period in office|||
|The Earl of Lathom||1886||1892||Second period in office|||
|The Lord Carrington||1892||1895||Created The Earl Carrington in 1895 and The Marquess of Lincolnshire in 1912|||
|The Earl of Lathom||1895||1898||Third period in office|||
|The Earl of Hopetoun||1898||1900||Created The Marquess of Linlithgow in 1902|||
|The Earl of Clarendon||1900||1905|||
|The Viscount Althorp, from 1910 The Earl Spencer||1905||1912|||
|The Lord Sandhurst, from 1917 The Viscount Sandhurst||1912||1921|||
|The Duke of Atholl||1921||1922|||
|The Earl of Cromer||1922||1938|||
|The Earl of Clarendon||1938||1952|||
|The Earl of Scarbrough||1952||1963|||
|The Lord Cobbold||29 January 1963||30 November 1971|||
|The Lord Maclean||1 December 1971||30 November 1984|||
|The Earl of Airlie||1 December 1984||31 December 1997|||
|The Lord Camoys||1 January 1998||31 May 2000|
|The Lord Luce||1 October 2000||15 October 2006|
|The Earl Peel||16 October 2006||present|||
- "The Lord Chamberlain". Monarchy of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- Appointment of Lord Chamberlain at the Royal Household official website, 2006 Archived 19 July 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
- 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.
- Lewis, Anthony. "Londoners Cool To Hair's Nudity: Four Letter Words Shock Few at Musical's Debut", The New York Times, 29 September 1968
- "Great Officers of the Household". Debrett's. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- "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)
- "No. 12430". The London Gazette. 8 April 1783. p. 1.
- "No. 16581". The London Gazette. 7 March 1812. p. 450.
- "No. 17772". The London Gazette. 11 December 1821. p. 2405.
- "No. 19221". The London Gazette. 16 December 1834. p. 2266.
- "No. 20621". The London Gazette. 10 July 1846. p. 2533.
- "No. 20894". The London Gazette. 5 September 1848. p. 3275.
- "No. 21297". The London Gazette. 2 March 1852. p. 670.
- "No. 21403". The London Gazette. 18 January 1853. p. 137.
- "No. 22106". The London Gazette. 2 March 1858. p. 1207.
- "No. 22279". The London Gazette. 24 June 1859. p. 2471.
- "No. 23137". The London Gazette. 13 July 1866. p. 3984.
- "No. 23450". The London Gazette. 15 December 1868. p. 6654.
- "No. 24071". The London Gazette. 3 March 1874. p. 1452.
- "No. 24721". The London Gazette. 13 May 1879. p. 3311.
- "No. 24841". The London Gazette. 4 May 1880. p. 2836.
- "No. 25485". The London Gazette. 30 June 1885. p. 3000.
- "No. 25558". The London Gazette. 12 February 1886. p. 677.
- "No. 25615". The London Gazette. 10 August 1886. p. 3853.
- "No. 26644". The London Gazette. 16 July 1895. p. 4022.
- "No. 27232". The London Gazette. 25 September 1900. p. 5891.
- "No. 27866". The London Gazette. 22 December 1905. p. 9171.
- "No. 28581". The London Gazette. 16 February 1912. p. 1169.
- "No. 32525". The London Gazette. 22 November 1921. p. 9245.
- "No. 42909". The London Gazette. 1 February 1963. p. 979.
- "No. 45536". The London Gazette. 3 December 1971. p. 13243.
- "No. 49948". The London Gazette. 4 December 1984. p. 16413.
- 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). [Society for Theatre Research Politics, Prudery and Perversions: The Censoring of the English Stage 1901–1968] Check
|url=value (help). 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.
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Lord Chamberlain.|
- The Lord Chamberlain - Royal Household official website
- Chamber Administration: Lord Chamberlain, 1660–1837
- The Lord Chamberlain and censorship at The Theatre Archive Project