It has been announced that The Bishop of London, The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullaly will become Dean of Her Majesty’s Chapels Royal when the Rt Revd and Rt Hon Lord Chartres retires from this role in summer.
Dean of Her Majesty’s Chapels Royal
The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Lord Chartres will retire as Dean of Her Majesty’s Chapels Royal in the summer, and will be succeeded by The Bishop of London, The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally.
Lord Chartres, formerly Bishop of London, will retire following his 72nd birthday in July. He has been Dean of the Chapels Royal since 1995.
Lord Chartres has officiated at Royal events including the confirmation of Prince William and the wedding of Lord and Lady Frederick Windsor, and taken part in a variety of others, including the National Service of Thanksgiving to mark The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Bishop Sarah Mullally was appointed Bishop of London in March 2018. After 20 years working in the health service, during which she was appointed Chief Nursing Officer, Bishop Sarah was ordained in 2001.
Bishop Sarah said; “It is an honour and a privilege to be appointed as Dean of the Chapels Royal. The role is one of great historical significance, playing an important role to this day, supporting Her Majesty and the Royal Family.”
Lord Chartres said; ““It has been a privilege to serve The Queen as Dean. I have hugely enjoyed the partnership with other members of the Royal Household and the superlative team in Her Majesty’s Chapels Royal.”
Notes to Editors:
The Dean of the Chapels Royal is an honorary appointment and was historically the most important representative of the Church at the Royal Court, travelling with the Monarch at all times. As the Royal Household became more established at Palaces based in London, the roles of Bishop of London and Dean of the Chapels Royal were usually held by the same person, while remaining separate offices.
The Dean of Her Majesty’s Chapels Royal is responsible for officiating at many major church services attended by Members of the Royal Family, such as Jubilees and other celebratory occasions, and takes part in some family events. The Dean participates in the annual Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph, and officiates at the annual Epiphany Service at the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace.
The Chapels Royal in England consist of; The Queen’s Chapel; the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace; the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace; the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula (Tower of London); the Chapel of St John the Evangelist (Tower of London); and The Queen’s Chapel of the Savoy.
Further details on the office of the Dean of Her Majesty’s Chapels Royal are on the web site of the Diocese of London. Ecclesiastical lawyers should be aware that “there exists one exception to the Chapel Royal having sole ecclesiastical governance of all royal palaces – and this is at Windsor Castle and its Chapels, where the official statutes granted in 1352 following the earlier creation of the College of Our Lady, St. Edward and St. George conferred obligations upon the Warden (later Dean) and College there to minister to the occupants instead of that falling to Dean of the Chapels Royal”.