Edward Young (courtier)

Edward Young, CVO, PC (born 24 October 1966) is the Private Secretary to Queen Elizabeth II. As Private Secretary to the Sovereign, he is the senior operational member of the Royal Households of the United Kingdom. Young was recruited to the Royal Household in 2004, serving as the Queen's Assistant and then Deputy Private Secretary until his promotion to Private Secretary in 2017. He is the 24th holder of the office of Private Secretary since its inception in 1805.

Edward Young

Private Secretary to the Sovereign
Assumed office
17 October 2017
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Boris Johnson
Preceded byBaron Geidt
Deputy Private Secretary to the Sovereign
In office
8 September 2007  17 October 2017
MonarchElizabeth II
Preceded byChristopher Geidt
Succeeded byTom Laing-Baker (performing the duties of)
Personal details
Born (1966-10-24) 24 October 1966

Early life and career

Edward Young was born on 24 October 1966, and was educated as a boarder at Reading School in Berkshire.

Young worked for the international side of Barclays Bank between 1985 and 1997 where he held a range of executive roles including as a specialist in international trade finance and as manager for the Corporate Bank European Currency Programme. In 1997 he moved to Barclays' Head Office to become the bank's Deputy Head of Corporate Public Relations.[1]

From late 1999 to 2001 he was advisor to the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, Michael Portillo and then to the Leader of the Opposition, William Hague. In 2001, he was appointed Head of Communications at Granada PLC working primarily on the merger with Carlton Communications to form ITV PLC in 2004. [1][2]

Career as a courtier

Assistant and Deputy Private Secretary, 2004-2017

Young began as the Assistant Private Secretary to the Queen in September 2004. [3] He was promoted to Deputy Private Secretary in September 2007 after the promotion of Christopher Geidt from Deputy Private Secretary to Private Secretary, on the retirement of Sir Robin Janvrin, Private Secretary from 1997 to 2007.[4]


As Deputy Private Secretary he played a key role in the planning of Her Majesty's visit to the Republic of Ireland in 2011. He is credited with assisting the Queen in writing the highly praised speech, which she began with a few words in the Irish language.[5] The Queen's visit was hailed as a diplomatic triumph that improved Anglo-Irish relations.[6][7][8]

2012 Olympics opening ceremony and Diamond Jubilee

In 2011, it was Young who asked Her Majesty to take part in the James Bond parachute drop which opened the London 2012 Olympic Games. Director Danny Boyle first pitched the idea to Sebastian Coe, who loved it so much he took it to Young, a friend of Coe's. Young 'listened sagely, laughed, and promised to ask the Boss'. Word came back to Coe that she would love to take part.[9] Young led the national planning of Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee.[10]

Private Secretary, 2017-

Young became Private Secretary in 2017, on Geidt's retirement.

As Private Secretary, Young is also Keeper of the Royal Archives and a Trustee of the Royal Collection Trust.

As head of the Private Secretary's Office, Young has direct control over the Press Office, the office of the Director for Security Liaison, the research, correspondence, anniversaries and records offices, and the Queen's Archives.

As Private Secretary, Young 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.[11]

Honours and Awards

He was appointed a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order (LVO) in the Queen's 2010 Birthday Honours List. He was promoted to Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) in the Queen's 2015 Birthday Honours List.

On 11 October 2017 Young was sworn as a member of the Privy Council.[12]

Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO)2015 Birthday Honours
Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order (LVO)2010 Birthday Honours[13]


  1. "UK Government: Assistant Private Secretary to HM The Queen appointed". M2 Presswire. 27 July 2004.
  2. Buckingham Palace press release, 2004
  3. Elston, Laura. "Queen Appoints New Aide". PA Regional Newswire. 24 July 2007.
  4. "New Assistant Private Secretary to The Queen". The Royal Family. 24 July 2007. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  5. "The Queen in Ireland: Dublin Castle speech in full".
  6. Hand, Lise (18 May 2011). "A modest delegation to deal with the visit's details". Irish Independent. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  7. Bates, Stephen (3 June 2011). "Derby victory for Carlton House could crown Queen's winning run". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  8. "Hats off, Ma'am! The Queen in Ireland. The inside story of a diplomatic coup". The Independent. London. 22 May 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  9. Gallagher, Ian (29 July 2012). "'Secret agent' in the coup that made the Queen a global TV comedy star". Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  10. Bates, Stephen (3 June 2011). "Derby victory for Carlton House could crown Queen's winning run". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  11. Nicholas, Watt (16 March 1997). "Men of the 'golden triangle' who pull the election strings". The Independent. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  12. "Court Circular, 11 October 2017".
  13. "No. 59446". The London Gazette (Supplement). 12 June 2010. p. 3.
Court offices
Preceded by
Stuart Shilson
Assistant Private Secretary to the Sovereign
Succeeded by
Douglas King
Preceded by
Christopher Geidt
Deputy Private Secretary to the Sovereign
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Sir Christopher Geidt
Private Secretary to the Sovereign
Succeeded by
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