Andrew Parker, Baron Parker of Minsmere

Lord Chamberlain of the Household from 2021 to 2022

The Lord Parker of Minsmere
Lord Chamberlain of the Household
In office
1 April 2021 – 19 September 2022
MonarchElizabeth II
Charles III
Preceded byThe Earl Peel
Member of the House of Lords
Life peerage
9 February 2021
Director General of MI5
In office
April 2013 – January 2020
Home SecretaryTheresa May
Amber Rudd
Sajid Javid
Priti Patel
Preceded bySir Jonathan Evans
Succeeded byKen McCallum
Personal details
Born (1962-05-08) 8 May 1962 (age 60)
Political partyNone (crossbench)
Alma materChurchill College, Cambridge
OccupationLord Chamberlain

Andrew David Parker, Baron Parker of Minsmere, GCVO, KCB, PC (born 8 May 1962)[1] is a former British intelligence officer who served as Director General of MI5 from 2013 to 2020. He served as Lord Chamberlain of the Household from 1 April 2021 to 19 September 2022 (ending his service during Queen Elizabeth II's funeral), and is a crossbench member of the House of Lords.


Parker was educated at Churchill College, Cambridge, where he studied natural sciences.[2] He joined the Security Service in 1983.[3] He was seconded to HM Customs and Excise as Director Intelligence in 1999 before becoming Director, International Terrorism at the Security Service in February 2005.[4] After leading the Security Service's response to the 7 July 2005 London bombings and the 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot, he became Deputy Director General in 2007.[3]

Parker went on to become Director General of the Service in April 2013. As of 2015, Parker was paid a salary of between £165,000 and £169,999 by the department, making him one of the 328 most highly paid people in the British public sector at that time.[5]

In May 2018, Parker said that Russia is seeking to undermine European democracies with "malign activities". Speaking in Berlin, Parker also condemned Russia for the "reckless" poisoning of the Skripals in Salisbury. Russia has denied involvement in the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. Parker said the Kremlin was taking part in "deliberate, targeted, malign activity intended to undermine our free, open and democratic societies". Parker also warned Islamic State aspires to commit "devastating" and "more complex" attacks in Europe.[6]

In 2019, Parker, writing with Cressida Dick, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, suggested that far-right and far-left terrorism have been identified as key threats to the safety and prosperity of the nation. They warned that while Islamist terrorism remains the largest by scale, they are also “concerned about the growing threat from other forms of violent extremism … covering a spectrum of hate-driven ideologies, including the extreme right and left.”[7]

In December 2020 it was announced that Parker would be created a crossbench life peer in the 2020 Political Peerages.[8] He was created Baron Parker of Minsmere, of Minsmere in the County of Suffolk, on 29 January 2021. The territorial designation reflects his interest in bird watching.[9] He made his maiden speech on 4 March 2021 during a debate on the space industry.[10]

Parker retired from MI5 in April 2020.[11][12] On 5 February 2021, Buckingham Palace announced that Lord Parker would succeed Earl Peel as Lord Chamberlain on 1 April 2021.[13]

The ceremonial breaking of the Lord Chamberlain’s “wand of office” during the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on 19 September 2022 symbolized the formal end of Parker's service as Lord Chamberlain to the monarch before the late Queen was lowered into the Royal Vault for private interment that evening to join her sister, parents, and husband.[14][15]


Parker was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in the 2019 Birthday Honours.[16] He was appointed as a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order upon appointment as Lord Chamberlain,[17][18] and was made a member of the Privy Council a few days later.[19]


  1. ^ "Andrew Parker". Retrieved 2 July 2022.
  2. ^ Sengupta, Kim (28 March 2013). "Meet the real-life spymaster: Andrew Parker announced as new director general of MI5". The Independent. Archived from the original on 7 May 2022. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Andrew Parker named as new head of MI5". BBC News. 28 March 2013. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
  4. ^ "Director General". MI5. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  5. ^ "Senior officials 'high earners' salaries as at 30 September 2015". 17 December 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
  6. ^ "MI5 chief: Russia trying to undermine European democracies". BBC News. 14 May 2018. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  7. ^ Jacobson, Seth (29 March 2019). "Far-right terrorism threat is growing, say MI5 and police chiefs of the nation". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  8. ^ "Political Peerages 2020". GOV.UK. 22 December 2020. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
  9. ^ "So who is the Queen's new Lord Chamberlain?". The Telegraph. 5 February 2021. Retrieved 7 February 2021.
  10. ^ Lord Parker of Minsmere (4 March 2021). "Space Industry". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). Vol. 810. United Kingdom: House of Lords. col. 499GC–500GC.
  11. ^ "Appointment of the new Director General of the Security Service". Retrieved 30 March 2020.
  12. ^ "Ken McCallum appointed new MI5 boss". BBC News. 30 March 2020. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  13. ^ "Lord Parker of Minsmere KCB appointed as Lord Chamberlain". The Royal Family. 5 February 2021. Retrieved 6 February 2021.
  14. ^ Reuters, Source (19 September 2022). "Lord chamberlain breaks wand of office and places it on Queen's coffin – video". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 19 September 2022.
  15. ^ Rogers, James. "Queen Elizabeth II funeral: Lord Chamberlain will break his 'wand of office'". MarketWatch. Retrieved 19 September 2022.
  16. ^ "No. 62666". The London Gazette (Supplement). 8 June 2019. p. B3.
  17. ^ "The Queen Performed Her First Royal Duty Since the Death of Prince Philip". Marieclaire. 14 April 2021. Retrieved 19 April 2021.
  18. ^ "The Queen appoints new Lord Chamberlain ahead of Prince Philip's funeral". BBC. 15 April 2019. Retrieved 19 April 2021.
  19. ^ "Orders approved and business transacted at the Privy Council held by the Queen at Windsor Castle on 28 April 2021" (PDF).
Government offices
Preceded by Director General of MI5
Succeeded by
Court offices
Preceded by Lord Chamberlain
1 April 2021 – 19 September 2022
Order of precedence in England and Wales
Preceded byas Lord Steward
of the Household
as Lord Chamberlain
of the Household
Succeeded byas Master of the Horse
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