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Richard Napier Luce, Baron Luce, KG, GCVO, PC, DL (born 14 October 1936) was Lord Chamberlain to HM The Queen from 2000 to 2006, and was previously Governor of Gibraltar and a Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) and Government Minister.

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Early career

Born in Westminster, Luce was educated at Wellington College, and Christ's College, Cambridge. He completed National Service in Cyprus 1955-57. He then briefly joined the Overseas Civil Service, first as a district officer in Kenya, 1960-62. He then worked for Gallaher Ltd as a brand manager (1963-65), before becoming marketing manager for the Spirella Company of Great Britain. In 1968-71 he was director of the National Innovation Centre.

From 1972 to 1979, he was Chairman of IFA Consultants Ltd, he was also chair of Selenex Ltd (1973-79), and of Courtenay Stewart International (1975-79).

Political career

Lord Luce was first elected to the House of Commons as Member of Parliament (MP) for Arundel and Shoreham in a by-election in 1971. When that constituency was abolished in boundary changes for the February 1974 general election, he was returned for the new Shoreham constituency. He retired from the Commons at the 1992 general election.

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In parliament

Lord Luce was appointed the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister of Trade and Consumer Affairs in 1972. After the Conservative Party lost the February 1974 general election, he became an Opposition whip.

When the Conservatives returned to power at the 1979 general election, he became Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In 1981, he was promoted to Minister of State for Foreign Affairs within the same department. In 1982, he followed his Secretary of State, Lord Carrington, in resigning over the Argentinian invasion of the Falkland Islands. Some blamed Luce for having given the wrong indications to the Argentinians, leading them to believe that the UK would not respond to the invasion. However he returned to office in 1983, again as a Minister of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In 1985, he was moved to the Privy Council Office as Minister for the Arts, which was his last ministerial office. He resigned in 1990.

Lord Luce has previously been knighted in 1991, and was made a Privy Counsellor in 1986.

After the Commons

Lord Luce was also Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham between 1992-96. In 1997, he was appointed Governor of Gibraltar, an office he held until 2000, when he was created a Life Peer as Baron Luce, of Adur in the County of West Sussex, GCVO and became Lord Chamberlain in HM The Queen's Royal Household.

Lord Luce relinquished the post of Lord Chamberlain on 11 October 2006. He was succeeded by The Rt Hon. The Earl Peel. The post of Lord Chamberlain entailed Lord Luce being involved in any official functions and state events, and if and when there was a Coronation or Royal wedding the Lord Chamberlain would organise such occasions.

Lord Luce was created a Knight Companion of the Order of the Garter on 22 April 2008. The Order of the Garter is the highest Order of Chivalry in the United Kingdom and is in the personal bestowal of HM The Queen. The membership of the Order of the Garter is limited to 24 at any one time, and this number excludes the British Royal Family and foreign Royal Families who are members. The Order currently includes two former British Prime Ministers; Lady Thatcher and Sir John Major as well as numerous British government ministers and senior members of the Royal Household similarly.

Luce has two sons, The Hon. Alexander Luce and The Hon. Edward Luce.

In popular culture

Lord Luce was portrayed by Jonathan Coy in the 2002 BBC production of Ian Curteis's controversial The Falklands Play.

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Henry Kerby
Member of Parliament for Arundel and Shoreham
1971 – Feb 1974
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Shoreham
Feb 19741992
Succeeded by
Michael Stephen
Political offices
Preceded by
Grey Gowrie
Minister for the Arts
1985 – 1990
Succeeded by
David Mellor
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Hugo White
Governor of Gibraltar
1997 – 2000
Succeeded by
Sir David Durie
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Rt Hon. The Lord Camoys
Lord Chamberlain
2000 – 2006
Succeeded by
The Rt Hon. The Earl Peel

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