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Martin Charteris, Baron Charteris of Amisfield

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Title: Martin Charteris, Baron Charteris of Amisfield  
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Language: English
Subject: 1975 Australian constitutional crisis, Christopher Trevor-Roberts, Malcolm Pearson, Baron Pearson of Rannoch, Earl of Wemyss and March, List of Provosts of Eton College
Collection: 1913 Births, 1975 Australian Constitutional Crisis, 1999 Deaths, Assistant Private Secretaries to the Sovereign, British Army Personnel of World War II, Companions of the Queen's Service Order, Crossbench Life Peers, Graduates of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Graduates of the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, Grand Officiers of the Légion D'Honneur, King's Royal Rifle Corps Officers, Knights Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath, Knights Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Members of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, Officers of the Order of the British Empire, People Educated at Eton College, Permanent Lords-in-Waiting, Private Secretaries to the Sovereign, Provosts of Eton College, Recipients of the Grand Decoration for Services to the Republic of Austria, Recipients of the Royal Victorian Chain
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Martin Charteris, Baron Charteris of Amisfield

The Right Honourable
The Lord Charteris of Amisfield
Private Secretary to the Sovereign
In office
Monarch Elizabeth II
Preceded by Sir Michael Adeane
Succeeded by Sir Philip Moore
Personal details
Nationality British
Alma mater Royal Military College, Sandhurst

Martin Michael Charles Charteris, Baron Charteris of Amisfield GCB GCVO OBE QSO PC (7 September 1913 – 23 December 1999) was a courtier of Queen Elizabeth II.[1]

Charteris was the son of Hugo Francis Charteris, grandson of Hugo Charteris, 11th Earl of Wemyss and a brother of the 12th Earl of Wemyss. He was educated at Eton and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst and was commissioned in the King's Royal Rifle Corps. He fought in the Middle East during the Second World War, rising to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. On his return, he married the Hon. Mary Margesson (a daughter of the 1st Viscount Margesson) on 16 December 1944 and they had three children. He retired from the Army in 1951.

In 1950, he was appointed Private Secretary to Princess Elizabeth, who was then Duchess of Edinburgh and heiress presumptive to the British throne. From her accession in 1952 until 1972, he served as her Assistant Private Secretary under Sir Michael Adeane. On Adeane's retirement in 1972, he was promoted to Private Secretary. He held this post until his retirement in 1977 and returned to Eton as its Provost. He was granted the honour of being a Permanent Lord in Waiting.[2]

Charteris was probably most outspoken in an interview he gave to The Spectator in 1995, in which he described the Duchess of York as "vulgar", the Prince of Wales as "whiney" and the Queen Mother as "a bit of an ostrich."[3]


Appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 1946 Birthday Honours[4]

Appointed a Member of the Royal Victorian Order in the 1953 Coronation Honours[5]

Appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath in the 1958 Birthday Honours[6]

Promoted to Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in the 1962 Birthday Honours[7]

In 1966, Charteris received the Grand Decoration of Honour in Silver for Services to the Republic of Austria[8]

Promoted to Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in the 1972 Birthday Honours[9]

Promoted to Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order in the 1976 New Year Honours[10]

Promoted to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath 11 August 1977[11]

Appointed to the Queen's Service Order in the 1978 New Year Honours[12]

Created a Life Peer as Baron Charteris of Amisfield, of Amisfield in the District of East Lothian on 7 February 1978[13]

Awarded the Royal Victorian Chain 7 July 1992[14]


  1. ^ Daily Telegraph "Her Majesty's A-team"
  2. ^ Tomlinson, Richard (20 Dec 1992). "They also serve, who only ush". Independent. 
  3. ^ Obituary (24 December 1999). "Queen's confidant dies".  
  4. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 37598. p. 2769. 13 June 1946.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 39863. p. 2947. 1 June 1953.
  6. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 41404. p. 3514. 12 June 1958.
  7. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 42683. p. 4311. 2 June 1962.
  8. ^ "Reply to a parliamentary question" (pdf) (in German). p. 214. Retrieved 18 October 2012. 
  9. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 45678. p. 6257. 3 June 1972.
  10. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 46777. p. 4. 1 January 1976.
  11. ^ The London Gazette: no. 47303. p. 10753. 19 August 1977.
  12. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 47420. p. 42. 31 December 1977.
  13. ^ The London Gazette: no. 47459. p. 1685. 9 February 1978.
  14. ^ The London Gazette: no. 52987. p. 11675. 10 July 1992.

External links

  • Grice, Elizabeth. "Perfect 10: The Men and Women Who Have Shaped the Queen," The Daily Telegraph online,, 1 June 2012, accessed 1 June 2012.
Court offices
Preceded by
Sir Michael Adeane
Private Secretary to the Sovereign
Succeeded by
Sir Philip Moore
Academic offices
Preceded by
The Lord Caccia
Provost of Eton
Succeeded by
Sir Antony Acland
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