Hey mates. So LK and Rossy are back from Summer Vacay, even though LK is still in Florida and Rossy is still in COVID times lockdowns. But hey - that’s by the by. Anyway, they are kicking off Season 4 (phwaor!) with a bit of an explainer Ep on ‘The Firm’.
‘The Firm’ was famously coined by King George VI (Biz’s old man) by saying one time in a public forum ‘We are not a family we are a firm’. Then Phil the Greek (RIP) married into the family and he loved this idea of him now being in a firm so he told anyone who would listen about ‘The Firm’.
But what actually is ‘The Firm’?
Basically, the royal family needs people to help them remember the rules, get to events, organise the annual Xmas message, and generally continue to invent reasons for the monarchy to exist. So they are in a sense the machine that drives the royal family (and their egos). Without the people who run The Firm Biz would be retired already and living a peaceful life of picnics and scotch eggs in Scotland!
Traditionally, roles within The Firm have been filled by ex-military (ie) Captain Peter Townsend - the bloke Princess Margaret wanted to marry) and aristocracy. We are right in assuming these roles have mainly been filled by blokes with only 2 women (ever) serving as deputy private secretaries (ever). These days, however, it’s mainly former advisors to government departments, which is maybe a better fit. Also, when you go for the interview you sign an NDA, so we don’t know who has been rejected by Biz. Bummer!
Who are the blokes running ‘The Firm’ … like right this minute?
At the mo, this role is held by Andrew Parker, Baron Parker of Minsmere and he used to be the director-general of MI5. Woah!
This is a part-time gig and only really needed when shit gets real. So Andrew Parker is the boss of the Lord Chamberlain’s Office and they look after matters such as protocol, state visits, investitures, garden parties, the State Opening of Parliament, royal weddings, and funerals.
Buckingham Palace - Private Secretary
Sir Edward Young (this is the bloke Megs has beef with) was an advisor to a poli - then leader of the tories William Hague. When Hague was defeated by Tony Blair, so Young went to ITV (the UK channel that produced - Harry and Meghan an African Journey) with his tail between his legs no doubt. He then came to work for the Queen as assistant private secretary and made his way up the ranks to Private Secretary.
Kensington Palace - Private Secretary
Jean Christophe Grey - used to work for former PM David Cameron and has a LinkedIn profile. Well known for pinching pennies… which is very telling of William and Kate as this is their castle.
Clarence House - Private Secretary
As this is Charles and Camilla’s patch their man in grey is, as you would expect, a bit boring. Clive Alderton did his apprenticeship as a foreign diplomat but now works for Fred and Gladys.
One more important (but maybe not) role is the Privy Purse currently held by Hon Michael Gove MP. He looks after the Duchy of Lancaster which is all the private income from Biz’s estate. Works out to be approx £20 million per year with an estimated estate value of £533 million.