Former M15 boss becomes first female Chancellor of the Order of the Garter

Baroness Manningham-Buller has been appointed Chancellor of the Order of the Garter
Baroness Manningham-Buller has been appointed Chancellor of the Order of the Garter - Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The King has appointed the first female Chancellor of the Order of the Garter in history, the former head of MI5 Baroness Manningham-Buller.

The Order of the Garter, which was founded by Edward III in 1348, is the oldest and most senior Order of Chivalry, with members appointed personally by the monarch for their contribution to public life.

Baroness Manningham-Buller was made a Lady Companion of the Garter by the late Queen Elizabeth II in April 2014.

On the retirement of the Duke of Abercorn, who has held the office since 2012, the King has now appointed her to the role of Chancellor.

Buckingham Palace said the King has been “graciously pleased” to do so.

Lady Manningham-Buller is the first female Chancellor since the office’s inception in 1475. The role was held by the bishops of Salisbury and Oxford for nearly 500 years, before changing in 1937 to be someone selected from the existing Knights Companion of the Order.

Lord Ashton of Hyde

The King has also appointed Lord Ashton of Hyde to the role of Master of the Horse, ahead of Trooping the Colour this weekend.

The Office of Master of the Horse, which also dates back centuries to the reign of Edward III, was originally responsible for the Sovereign’s horses, carriages and travel arrangements.

The role is now largely ceremonial, and will make Lord Ashton the titular head of the Royal Mews.

The Master of the Horse is present for State occasions and rides in Trooping the Colour. The current incumbent, Lord de Mauley, rode in the procession at the King’s Coronation.

Both appointments are effective from Tuesday, June 18, the day after the annual Garter Day at Windsor Castle.

Baroness Manningham-Buller began her career as a teacher before joining MI5. She became the security service’s director general in 2002.

She later spent 12 years at Wellcome, the medical research charity, and became a crossbench life peer in 2008.

Lord Ashton of Hyde served in the Royal Hussars and the Royal Wessex Yeomanry, later becoming chief executive of Faraday Underwriting and Faraday Reinsurance Company, which is a member of Lloyd’s of London and then entering politics.

He has served as a Lord in Waiting and a government whip, parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and chief whip in the House of Lords until 2022.

After leaving the Government, Lord Ashton became chairman of the International Relations and Defence Committee and a deputy speaker of the House of Lords.

He is married with four daughters.

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