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The Queen hires former MI5 director for big job at the palace

Lord Peel announced his intention to retire last year

Ainhoa Barcelona

Buckingham Palace has announced the appointment of a new member of staff in the royal household – a new Lord Chamberlain for the Queen.

In a statement, the palace revealed that Lord Parker of Minsmere KCB will take on the new role as the senior officer of the royal household.

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"The Queen has appointed Andrew Parker, Baron Parker of Minsmere, as Lord Chamberlain to succeed Lord Peel, who will retire on 31 March. Lord Parker will take up his appointment on 1 April 2021," it read.

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Lord Parker's career spans 37 years in the Security Service (MI5), most recently serving as Director General of MI5 from 2013 until 2020. As well as having an MA in Natural Sciences from Churchill College, Cambridge, he was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in 2019. In December 2020, Lord Parker was created a cross bench life peer.

He has been a non-executive director of Babcock International since November 2020 and is an advisor to Telicent.

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The Lord Chamberlain's role is non-executive and part-time, overseeing the conduct and general business of the royal household and acting as the channel of communication between the sovereign and the House of Lords. 

The Lord Chamberlain is also responsible for organising those elements of the Queen's programme that involve ceremonial activity or public-facing events. These range from garden parties and state visits, to royal weddings and the State Opening of Parliament. The Lord Chamberlain's office also handles the Royal Mews, as well as the biannual awarding of honours.

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Lord Peel is retiring after 14 years

Lord Peel announced his intention to retire last spring. He was appointed in June 2006 and led the royal household during a period of significant progress and change, including the introduction of the Sovereign Grant in 2012, as well as overseeing the Buckingham Palace restoration project. He also played a key role during the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012.

In a statement, he said: "During the 14 years that I have served in this role, I have witnessed a great deal of positive change across the royal households. It has of course been both a great privilege and pleasure to be part of so many significant events, and to be able to serve Her Majesty and the Royal Household in this unique position."

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