Queen appoints Lord of Minsmere and ex-spy chief as senior aide

The Queen is to speak to the nation about the coronavirus outbreak. Picture: MATTHEW USHER

The Queen held an audience with Lord Parker of Minsmere this week

Her Majesty The Queen has appointed former MI5 director Lord Andrew Parker of Minsmere as one of her most senior aides - where he will oversee the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral.

Lord Parker took on the title of Baron of Minsmere earlier this year after a long and distinguished career in the Security Service, ending up as its director-general between 2013 and 2020.

Before being appointed to the top job, he served as deputy director general at MI5 for six years and previously helped foil an al-Qa'ida terrorist plot in 2006 to hide bombs in drinks bottles on airliners.

The Royal Household confirmed earlier this year that he would take on the role of Lord Chamberlain, a non-executive and part-time job overseeing the conduct and general business of the Royal Household.

It also means he will oversee Prince Philip's funeral on Saturday, April 17.

He officially took over on April 1 and the Court Circular confirmed that he has now received the Wand and Insignia of Office.

The Court Circular for Wednesday, April 14 read: "The Lord Parker of Minsmere had an audience of The Queen today, kissed hands upon his appointment as Lord Chamberlain and received from Her Majesty the Wand and Insignia of Office and the Badge of Chancellor of the Royal Victorian Order, when The Queen invested him with the Insignia of a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order."

When they are appointed, Lords can choose a place they would like to be associated with - even if they do not live there, provided that area is not already taken by another peer.

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A clue as to why Lord Parker - who was sworn in at the Upper Chamber in February - might have chosen Minsmere comes on his gov.uk biography page, which says: "He enjoys the outdoors and is a keen ornithologist and wildlife photographer."

RSPB Minsmere is hosting the Love Minsmere festival to send a message to Sizewell C that they want t

Lord Parker's official title is Baron of Minsmere in Suffolk - Credit: Gregg Brown

The 1,000acre Minsmere nature reserve, run by the RSPB, attracts visitors from far and wide is home to a variety of birds, including avocets, bearded tits and bitterns - although there are fears a new nuclear power station at Sizewell C could threaten the outstanding natural habitat.

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