Lord Chamberlain  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Lord Chamberlain or Lord Chamberlain of the Household is one of the chief officers of the Royal Household in the United Kingdom, and is to be distinguished from the Lord Great Chamberlain, one of the Great Officers of State.

The Lord Chamberlain is always a peer and a privy councillor, and before 1782 was of Cabinet rank. Until 1924 the position was a political one. The Lord Chamberlain is the chief functionary of the court, and is generally responsible for organising all court functions. He is considered the "senior official" of the Royal Household.

Theatre Censorship

theatre censorship

From 1737 until 1968 the Lord Chamberlain also had the role of licensor of plays in the City of London, Westminster, and certain other areas.(See the Lord Chamberlain's requirements). This role made the Lord Chamberlain effectively the official censor of theatrical performances, although the responsibility was in practice delegated to the Lord Chamberlain's Office.

This duty was abolished under the Theatres Act 1968. One of the catalysts for this change in the law was the prosecution in 1965 of Edward Bond's play Saved, staged at the Royal Court Theatre under 'club' auspices. The first performance of the musical Hair was delayed until the office's censorship function was abolished.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Lord Chamberlain" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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