Lord Chamberlain's Office

Lord Chamberlain's Office

Lord Chamberlain's Office

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The Lord Chamberlain's Office is a department within the British Royal Household. It is presently concerned with matters such as protocol, state visits, investitures, garden parties, the State Opening of Parliament, royal weddings and funerals. For example, in April 2005 it organised the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles. It is also responsible for authorising use of the Royal Arms.

As the Lord Chamberlain is a part-time position the day-to-day work of the Office is conducted by the Comptroller of the Lord Chamberlain's Office.

Theatre censorship

The Lord Chamberlain's Office had a more significant role in British society prior to 1968, as it was the official censor for virtually all theatre performed in Britain. Commercial theatre owners were generally satisfied by the safety this arrangement gave them; so long as they presented only licensed plays they were effectively immune from prosecution for any offence a play might cause. There were campaigns by playwrights, however, in opposition to the Lord Chamberlain's censorship, such as those involving J. M. Barrie in 1909 and 1911.

By the 1960s, there were many playwrights and producer who wished to produce controversial works. Theatre companies such as the Royal Court Theatre came into open conflict with the Lord Chamberlain's Office. Sometimes they would resort to such measures as declaring themselves private clubs for the performance of certain plays. The Lord Chamberlain's Office technically...
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