Christopher Geidt

The Right Honourable
Sir Christopher Geidt
Private Secretary to the Sovereign
Assumed office
8 September 2007
Monarch Queen Elizabeth II
Deputy Edward Young
Preceded by Sir Robin Janvrin
Deputy Private Secretary to the Sovereign
In office
Monarch Queen Elizabeth II
Secretary Sir Robin Janvrin
Preceded by Mary Francis
Succeeded by Edward Young
Personal details
Born (1961-08-17) 17 August 1961
Nationality British
Alma mater King's College London
Trinity Hall, Cambridge

Sir Christopher Edward Wollaston MacKenzie Geidt KCB KCVO OBE (born 17 August 1961) has been the Private Secretary to Queen Elizabeth II since September 2007.[1] As of July 2016, Geidt also serves as the Chairman of the Council of King's College London, succeeding the Duke of Wellington.[2]

Early life and education

Geidt attended the Dragon School, Oxford, and Trinity College, Glenalmond. He graduated in War Studies from King's College London and in International Relations from Trinity Hall, Cambridge. Geidt also spent periods at the Universities of Bristol and Harvard (as a Visiting Fellow), and at Magdalen College, Oxford.[3]


Geidt enlisted in the Scots Guards and attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Invalided out in 1983, he was subsequently commissioned as an officer in the Intelligence Corps.[3]

In 1987 Geidt joined the staff of the Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies, becoming an Assistant Director.[4] From 1994 he worked for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in diplomatic posts in Sarajevo, Geneva and Brussels.[3]

Geidt was recruited in 2002 as Assistant Private Secretary to the Queen. He became Deputy Private Secretary in 2005 and Private Secretary in 2007. Geidt is also Keeper of the Queen’s Archives and a Trustee of the Royal Collection, the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Trust, and the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust.[5][6][7]

As the Queen’s Private Secretary, Geidt is a member of the so-called 'golden triangle' of senior British officials – the others being the Cabinet Secretary and the Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister – with key responsibilities in the event of a 'hung parliament' in the United Kingdom, as happened in 2010.[8]


In 1996 Sir Christopher married Emma Charlotte Angela Neil, youngest daughter of Patrick Neill, Baron Neill of Bladen.[9] The couple have two daughters.

Other references

In 1991, Geidt and Anthony de Normann sued the journalist John Pilger and Central Television over the documentary Cambodia: The Betrayal in which they were accused of being members of the SAS who had trained the Khmer Rouge to lay mines. Geidt and de Normann accepted ‘very substantial’ damages and all costs.[10] In a related libel action Ann Clwyd MP, then shadow minister for overseas development, issued a public apology to Geidt and de Normann and agreed to meet all legal costs.[11]

During and after the war in Bosnia (1992–1995), Geidt was deployed to liaise with the Bosnian Serb leadership, including Radovan Karadžić, Momčilo Krajišnik and General Ratko Mladić, all later indicted for war crimes.[12][13][14] He assisted the High Representative, Carl Bildt, in negotiating with Serbian President Slobodan Milošević for the removal of Karadžić from the Presidency of the Bosnian Serb ‘Republic’ in 1996.[15]

Honours and awards

Geidt was appointed a Privy Counsellor (PC) in 2007.[16] He was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in the 2014 New Year Honours for public service.[17]

Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) 2014 New Year Honours
Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) 2011[18]
Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) 2007[19]
Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) 1997 ‘for services to British interests in Bosnia’.[20]
Gulf Medal
United Nations Medal (United Nations) United Nations Mission in East Timor
European Community Monitor Mission Medal (European Union)
Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal 2012

Geidt is a Fellow of King’s College London (FKC).[21]



  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 21, 2012. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  3. 1 2 3 "Who's Who". 2015-12-07. Retrieved 2016-05-06.
  4. "Trustees". Retrieved 2016-05-06.
  5. "About the trust | The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust". Retrieved 2016-05-06.
  6. Nicholas Watt. "How a hung parliament would put the Queen centre stage | UK news". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-05-06.
  7. "Marriages." The Times, [London, England], 16 July 1996
  8. "The Lie is Indeed Breathtaking Mr Pilger, But Who Told It". The Australian. Retrieved 2016-05-06.
  9. Reported by The Times on 6 July 1991
  10. Brendan O'Shea (2005-01-21). "The Modern Yugoslav Conflict 1991-1995: Perception, Deception and Dishonesty". p. 155. Retrieved 2016-05-06.
  11. Carl Bildt, Peace Journey, p.29
  12. "Key Figures of the Cases | International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia". 2016-04-19. Retrieved 2016-05-06.
  13. Carl Bildt, Peace Journey, p.220
  14. "Announcement of Christopher Geidt being sworn of the Privy Council" (Press release). Number 10. 2007-12-19. Retrieved 2007-09-21.
  15. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60728. p. 3. 31 December 2013.
  16. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 59808. p. 3. 11 June 2011.
  17. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 58358. p. 3. 16 June 2007.
  18. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 54794. p. 25. 14 June 1997.
  19. Posted on 20/07/2011 (2011-07-20). "King's College London - Graduations and fellowships". Retrieved 2016-05-06.

Offices held

Court offices
Preceded by
Mary Francis
Deputy Private Secretary to the Sovereign
Succeeded by
Edward Young
Preceded by
Lord Janvrin
Private Secretary to the Sovereign
Succeeded by
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