The Daily Telegraph

EX-MI5 chief to break wand of office at grave

- By Robert Mendick

THE former head of MI5 will step out of the shadows to take on an instrument­al role in Elizabeth II’S funeral, The Daily Telegraph understand­s.

Lord Parker of Minsmere, who ran the domestic intelligen­ce service for seven years before being appointed Lord Chamberlai­n, will break his wand of office and place it on the monarch’s coffin. The ceremonial tradition, which dates back centuries, will be televised to the wider public for the first time.

Lord Parker, 60, stepped down as head of MI5 in 2020 and was appointed Lord Chamberlai­n the next year. He had spent 37 years working for MI5 and was widely seen as the safest pair of hands to take charge of the royal household.

Lord Parker joined the security services in 1983, leading MI5’S response to the 7/7 attacks in London in 2005 and the investigat­ion into the transatlan­tic airline bomb plot in 2006. He was appointed the head of MI5 in 2013 and largely remained out of the limelight.

As Lord Chamberlai­n, he manages the royal household’s smooth operation and will be key in ensuring a successful transition to the reign of King Charles.

The ceremony where he will lay his wand of office upon the late Queen’s coffin takes place during the committal service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor and which follows the funeral service at Westminste­r Abbey. Once the wand is placed on the coffin, the body will be lowered into the Royal Vault.

Full details of Monday’s funeral will be disclosed by Buckingham Palace later in the week.

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