Richard Luce, Baron Luce

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The Lord Luce

Official portrait of Lord Luce crop 3.jpg
Lord Chamberlain
In office
1 October 2000 – 15 October 2006
MonarchElizabeth II
Preceded byThe Lord Camoys
Succeeded byThe Earl Peel
Governor of Gibraltar
In office
24 February 1997 – 21 March 2000
MonarchElizabeth II
Chief MinisterPeter Caruana
Preceded bySir Hugo White
Succeeded bySir David Durie
Minister of State for the Arts
In office
3 September 1985 – 25 July 1990
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byThe Earl of Gowrie
Succeeded byDavid Mellor
Member of Parliament
for Shoreham
Arundel and Shoreham (1971–1974)
In office
1 April 1971 – 9 April 1992
Preceded byHenry Kerby
Succeeded byMichael Stephen
Personal details
Richard Napier Luce

(1936-10-14) 14 October 1936 (age 82)
Westminster, England
Political partyCrossbench
Conservative (During political career)
ChildrenThe Hon. Alexander Luce
The Hon. Edward Luce
ParentsWilliam Luce
Margaret Napier
Alma materChrist's College, Cambridge
Viceregal styles of
The Lord Luce
Flag of the Governor of Gibraltar.svg
Reference styleHis Excellency
Spoken styleYour Excellency

Richard Napier Luce, Baron Luce, KG, GCVO, PC, DL (born 14 October 1936) is former Lord Chamberlain to the Queen from 2000 to 2006, and has been Governor of Gibraltar, a Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) and Government Minister. He now sits as a crossbench peer.

Early career[edit]

Born in Westminster, Luce was educated at Wellington College, and Christ's College, Cambridge. He completed National Service in Cyprus 1955–57. He then briefly joined the Overseas Civil Service, first as a District Officer in Kenya, 1960–62. He then worked for Gallaher Ltd as a brand manager (1963–65), before becoming marketing manager for the Spirella Company of Great Britain. In 1968–71 he was director of the National Innovation Centre.

From 1972 to 1979, he was Chairman of IFA Consultants Ltd, he was also chair of Selenex Ltd (1973–79), and of Courtenay Stewart International (1975–79).

Political career[edit]

After unsuccessfully contesting Hitchin against Labour's Shirley Williams in 1970, Luce was first elected to the House of Commons as Member of Parliament (MP) for Arundel and Shoreham in a by-election in 1971. When that constituency was abolished in boundary changes for the February 1974 general election, he was returned for the new Shoreham constituency. He retired from the Commons at the 1992 general election.

Luce was appointed the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister of Trade and Consumer Affairs in 1972. After the Conservative Party lost the February 1974 general election, he became an Opposition whip.

When the Conservatives returned to power at the 1979 general election, he became Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In 1981, he was promoted to Minister of State for Foreign Affairs within the same department. In 1982, he followed his Secretary of State, Lord Carrington, in resigning over Argentina's invasion of the Falkland Islands.[1] He returned to office in 1983, again as a Minister of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In 1985, he was moved to the Privy Council Office as Minister for the Arts and Minister for the Civil Service, which was his last ministerial office. He resigned in 1990.

Luce was knighted in 1991,[2] and was made a Privy Counsellor in 1986.

Later life[edit]

Luce was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham between 1992 and 1996.[3] In 1997, he was appointed Governor of Gibraltar,[3] an office he held until 2000,[4] and he was created a Life Peer,[3] on 2 October 2000 as Baron Luce, of Adur in the County of West Sussex.[5] In 2000 he was appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO)[6] and became Lord Chamberlain in the Queen's Royal Household.[7]

Lord Luce relinquished the post of Lord Chamberlain on 11 October 2006. He was succeeded by the Rt Hon. The Earl Peel. The Lord Chamberlain is the Head of the Royal Household.

Lord Luce was appointed a Knight Companion of the Order of the Garter (KG) on 23 April 2008.[8] The Order of the Garter is the highest Order of Chivalry in the United Kingdom and is in the personal bestowal of the Queen. The membership of the Order of the Garter is limited to 24 at any one time, and this number excludes the British Royal Family and foreign royal families who are members. The Order currently includes one former British Prime Minister, Sir John Major, as well as numerous British government ministers and senior members of the Royal Household.

On 26 April 2012 Lord Luce was appointed by David Cameron, the Prime Minister, as the Chair of the Crown Nominations Commission for the See of Canterbury, the commission set up to nominate the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury.[9]

Lord Luce is President of the Voluntary Arts Network and the Royal Over-Seas League and is High Steward of Westminster Abbey

In popular culture[edit]

Lord Luce was portrayed by Jonathan Coy in the 2002 BBC production of Ian Curteis's controversial The Falklands Play. He has also written 'Ringing the Changes, A Memoir' published by Michael Russell.


He is the son of Margaret (née Napier) and Sir William Luce, Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Aden, Political Resident in the Gulf and Special Representative to the Foreign Secretary (Lord Home) for Gulf Affairs. His father's older brother was Sir David Luce, First Sea Lord (1963–1966). His maternal grandfather was Trevylyan Napier, who was the Commander-in-Chief, America and West Indies Station (1919–1920). Luce has two sons, Alexander and Edward. His sister Diana is married to retired Royal Navy Captain David Hart Dyke, and his niece is comedian and actress Miranda Hart. His paternal grandfather (Rear Admiral John Luce) survived 2 key British Naval battles during WW1: the defeat at The Battle of Coronel and the victory at The Battle of the Falkland Islands.

Styles of address[edit]

  • 1936–1971: Mr Richard Luce
  • 1971–1986: Mr Richard Luce MP
  • 1986–1991: The Rt Hon. Richard Luce MP
  • 1991–1992: The Rt Hon. Sir Richard Luce MP
  • 1992–1997: The Rt Hon. Sir Richard Luce
  • 1997–2000: His Excellency The Rt Hon. Sir Richard Luce
  • 2000: The Rt Hon. Sir Richard Luce
  • 2000: The Rt Hon. The Lord Luce PC
  • 2000–2008: The Rt Hon. The Lord Luce GCVO PC
  • 2008–: The Rt Hon. The Lord Luce KG GCVO PC



  1. ^ "By hook or by crook". The Jerusalem Post. 16 July 2004. Archived from the original on 4 November 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  2. ^ "No. 52543". The London Gazette. 28 May 1991. p. 8208.
  3. ^ a b c "Albany: Rock solid". The Sunday Telegraph. 12 January 1997. Retrieved 18 August 2010.[dead link]
  4. ^ "Diplomat is new aide to Queen". Birmingham Evening Mail. 16 August 2000. Archived from the original on 4 November 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  5. ^ "No. 55989". The London Gazette. 5 October 2000. p. 11135.
  6. ^ "No. 56014". The London Gazette. 31 October 2000. p. 12205.
  7. ^ "Dome critic is Queen's man". Daily Record. 16 August 2000. Archived from the original on 4 November 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  8. ^ "No. 58679". The London Gazette. 25 April 2008. p. 6383.
  9. ^ "See of Canterbury Appointment". 26 April 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
  10. ^ The Friends of St. George's & Descendants of the Knights of the Garter Annual Review 2007/08, VIII, 2008, p. 479

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Henry Kerby
Member of Parliament for Arundel and Shoreham
1971February 1974
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Shoreham
February 19741992
Succeeded by
Michael Stephen
Political offices
Preceded by
Grey Gowrie
Minister for the Arts
Succeeded by
David Mellor
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Hugo White
Governor of Gibraltar
Succeeded by
Sir David Durie
Court offices
Preceded by
The Rt Hon. The Lord Camoys
Lord Chamberlain
Succeeded by
The Rt Hon. The Earl Peel