Christopher Geidt, Baron Geidt

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The Lord Geidt

Official portrait of Lord Geidt crop 2.jpg
Private Secretary to the Sovereign
In office
8 September 2007 – 17 October 2017
MonarchElizabeth II
DeputyEdward Young
Preceded bySir Robin Janvrin
Succeeded byEdward Young
Deputy Private Secretary to the Sovereign
In office
MonarchElizabeth II
SecretarySir Robin Janvrin
Preceded byMary Francis
Succeeded byEdward Young
Personal details
Born (1961-08-17) 17 August 1961 (age 57)
Marylebone, London, UK
Emma Neill (m. 1996)
Alma materKing's College, London
Trinity Hall, Cambridge
Magdalen College, Oxford

Christopher Edward John Wollaston MacKenzie Geidt, Baron Geidt, GCB, GCVO, QSO, OBE, PC (born 17 August 1961), is a member of the House of Lords and Chairman of King's College London.[1][2][3] He was Private Secretary to Queen Elizabeth II from 2007 to 2017.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Marylebone, son of magistrates' court chief clerk Mervyn Bernard Geidt (1926-1991) and Diana Cecil (née MacKenzie),[5][6][7] Geidt attended the Dragon School, Oxford, Glenalmond College, and Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He graduated in War Studies from King's College, London, and in International Relations from Trinity Hall, Cambridge. Geidt also spent periods at Bristol, Harvard and Oxford universities.[8] He is a Fellow of King's College London (FKC), an Honorary Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, and an Honorary Bencher of Middle Temple.[9][10][11]


An Army Scholar, Geidt enlisted in the Scots Guards and attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He was later commissioned in the Intelligence Corps.[8]

In 1987, Geidt joined the staff of the Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies, becoming an Assistant Director.[12] From 1994 he worked for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in diplomatic posts in Sarajevo, Geneva and Brussels.[8]

In 1991, Geidt and Anthony de Normann sued the journalist John Pilger and Central Television over the documentary Cambodia: The Betrayal in which they were accused of being members of the SAS secretly engaged in the training of the Khmer Rouge. Geidt and de Normann accepted ‘very substantial’ damages and all costs.[13] In a related libel action Ann Clwyd MP, then shadow minister for overseas development, issued a public apology to Geidt and de Normann and agreed to meet all legal costs.[14]

During and after the war in Bosnia (1992–1995), Geidt was deployed to liaise with the Bosnian Serb leadership, including Radovan Karadžić, Momčilo Krajišnik and General Ratko Mladić, all later indicted for war crimes.[15][16][17] He assisted the High Representative, Carl Bildt, in negotiating with Serbian President Slobodan Milošević for the removal of Karadžić from the Presidency of the Bosnian Serb ‘Republic’ in 1996.[18]

Geidt was recruited to the Royal Household in 2002 as Assistant Private Secretary to the Queen. He was promoted to Deputy Private Secretary in 2005 before serving for a decade as the Queen's Private Secretary (2007–2017).

During his appointment as Private Secretary, Geidt was also Keeper of the Royal Archives and a Trustee of both the Royal Collection and the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Trust (later the Queen's Trust). He remains a Trustee of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust and is also Chairman of the Queen's Commonwealth Trust. [19][20][21][22]

As Private Secretary, Geidt had been a member of the so-called 'golden triangle' of senior British officials – the others being the Cabinet Secretary and the Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister – with key responsibilities in the event of a 'hung parliament' in the United Kingdom, as happened in 2010.[23]

After ten years as Private Secretary, Geidt stepped down in October 2017.[24] He was subsequently created Baron Geidt, of Crobeg in the County of Ross and Cromarty, and sits as a Crossbench peer in the House of Lords.[25] In early March 2019 he was appointed a Permanent Lord-in-waiting.[26]

Geidt is the Honorary Regimental Colonel of the London Scottish Regiment, having succeeded George, Lord Robertson of Port Ellen in 2016.


In 1996, Geidt married Emma Charlotte Angela Neill, younger daughter of Patrick Neill, Baron Neill of Bladen.[27] The couple have two daughters. Geidt's father was the first cousin of actor Jeremy Geidt.[28][29]

Honours and awards[edit]

Geidt was appointed a Privy Counsellor (PC) in 2007.[30]

He was invested as a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) by the Queen upon relinquishing appointment as Private Secretary. In 2018 he was appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB) for public service, and became a Companion of the Queen's Service Order (QSO) for public service in New Zealand.[31][32]

Coronet of a British Baron.svg Life peer as Baron Geidt 3 November 2017[25]
Order of the Bath UK ribbon.svg Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB) 2018 New Year Honours
Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) 2014 New Year Honours
Royal Victorian Order UK ribbon.png Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) 5 October 2017[33][34]
Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) 2011[35]
Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) 2007[36]
Order of the British Empire (Civil) Ribbon.png Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) 1997 ‘for services to British interests in Bosnia’.[37]
QueenServiceRibbon.png Companion of the Queen's Service Order (QSO) 2018 New Year Honours
Gulf Medal BAR.svg Gulf Medal with one clasp
UNTAC Medal bar.gif United Nations Medal (United Nations) United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC)
ONZ Medal w Służbie Pokoju UNPROFOR BAR.svg United Nations Medal (United Nations) United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR)
ECMM Medal YUG ribbon bar.svg European Community Monitor Mission Medal (European Union)
QEII Diamond Jubilee Medal ribbon.png Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal 2012


  • Christopher Geidt Esq. 1961–1997
  • Christopher Geidt OBE 1997–2007
  • The Rt Hon Christopher Geidt CVO OBE 2007–2011
  • The Rt Hon Sir Christopher Geidt KCVO OBE 2011–2014
  • The Rt Hon Sir Christopher Geidt KCB KCVO OBE 2014–2017
  • The Rt Hon Sir Christopher Geidt GCVO KCB OBE 2017–2017
  • The Rt Hon The Lord Geidt GCVO KCB OBE PC 2017–2018
  • The Rt Hon The Lord Geidt GCB GCVO OBE QSO PC 2018–present


  1. ^ "Life peerages: 12 October 2017". 2017-10-12. Retrieved 2018-02-15.
  2. ^ "King's welcomes Sir Christopher Geidt as new King's Chairman - King's Alumni Community". Retrieved 2017-03-16.
  3. ^ "King's College London Charter and Statutes" (PDF). Retrieved 2018-03-24.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 21, 2012. Retrieved October 22, 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Burke's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage, 2003, vol. 1, p. 1060
  6. ^ The Law List, Stevens & Sons, 1974, p. 72
  7. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  8. ^ a b c "Who's Who". 2015-12-07. Retrieved 2016-05-06.
  9. ^ Posted on 20/07/2011 (2011-07-20). "King's College London - Graduations and fellowships". Retrieved 2016-05-06.
  10. ^ "William Hague and Sir Christopher Geidt Elected Honorary Fellows". 2016-03-17.
  11. ^ "Masters of the Bench". Retrieved 2018-03-24.
  12. ^ [1][dead link]
  13. ^ "The Lie is Indeed Breathtaking Mr Pilger, But Who Told It". The Australian. Retrieved 2016-05-06.
  14. ^ Reported by The Times on 6 July 1991
  15. ^ Brendan O'Shea (2005-01-21). "The Modern Yugoslav Conflict 1991-1995: Perception, Deception and Dishonesty". p. 155. Retrieved 2016-05-06.
  16. ^ Carl Bildt, Peace Journey, p.29
  17. ^ "Key Figures of the Cases | International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia". 2016-04-19. Retrieved 2016-05-06.
  18. ^ Carl Bildt, Peace Journey, p.220
  19. ^ "Trustees". Archived from the original on 2016-05-07. Retrieved 2016-05-06.
  20. ^ [2]
  21. ^ "About the trust | The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust". Retrieved 2016-05-06.
  22. ^ "The Queen's Commonwealth Trust". Retrieved 2018-03-24.
  23. ^ Nicholas Watt. "How a hung parliament would put the Queen centre stage | UK news". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-05-06.
  24. ^ "Queen's private secretary Sir Christopher Geidt to step down after a decade".
  25. ^ a b "No. 62103". The London Gazette. 8 November 2017. p. 20550.
  26. ^ Court Circular, 4 March 2019
  27. ^ "Marriages." The Times, [London, England], 16 July 1996
  28. ^ Entry of Birth (30th August 1961) in the Sub-district of All Souls in the Metropolitan Borough of St. Marylebone
  29. ^ Corpus Christi College Oxford Biographical Register 1880-1974, 1988, p. 230
  30. ^ "Announcement of Christopher Geidt being sworn of the Privy Council" (Press release). Number 10. 2007-12-19. Archived from the original on 2007-07-25. Retrieved 2007-09-21.
  31. ^ "No. 62150". The London Gazette (1st supplement). 30 December 2017. p. N3.
  32. ^ "New Year Honours List 2018".
  33. ^
  34. ^ "No. 62078". The London Gazette. 11 October 2017. p. 18918.
  35. ^ "No. 59808". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 June 2011. p. 3.
  36. ^ "No. 58358". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 June 2007. p. 3.
  37. ^ "No. 54794". The London Gazette (Supplement). 14 June 1997. p. 25.
Court offices
Preceded by
Sir Robin Janvrin
Private Secretary to the Sovereign
Succeeded by
Edward Young
Academic offices
Preceded by
The Duke of Wellington
Chairman of King's College London
Succeeded by