The Full Wiki

Lord Privy Seal: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal

Harriet Harman, January 2009 2.jpg
Harriet Harman QC MP
Took office: 28 June 2007

Style: The Right Honourable
Appointed by: Gordon Brown
as Prime Minister
First: William Melton
Formation: 1307
United Kingdom
Coat of Arms of the UK Government

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
the United Kingdom

Other countries · Atlas
Politics portal

The Lord Privy Seal or Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal is the fifth of the Great Officers of State in the United Kingdom, ranking beneath the Lord President of the Council and above the Lord Great Chamberlain. The office is one of the traditional sinecure offices of state. Originally, its holder was responsible for the monarch's personal ("privy") seal (as opposed to the Great Seal of State, which is in the care of the Lord Chancellor). Today, the holder of the office is invariably given a seat in the Cabinet.

Though one of the oldest offices in government anywhere, it has no particular function today; thus the office has generally been used as a kind of Minister without Portfolio. Since the premiership of Clement Attlee, the position of Lord Privy Seal has frequently been combined with that of Leader of the House of Lords or Leader of the House of Commons. The jocular clarification that the office holder is neither a lord, nor a privy, nor a seal, though sometimes credited to Edward Heath, was attributed by him to Ernest Bevin.


English Lords Privy Seal, 1307–1707

British Lords Privy Seal, 1707–present

Other countries

See also




Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address