The master of the Household’s department is not only the largest in the entire household (employing over 250 staff) it is also one of the busiest with day to day activities including managing and planning official and private engagements, caring and catering for the household and entertainment at all of the working Royal Residences.
The current Master of the Household is Air Marshal, Sir David Allan Walker, KCVO, OBE who is a former RAF officer. He has held this prestigious position since being appointed in 2005.
The department is spit into several divisions which individually work to ensure that the household is running smoothly, cleanly and efficiently. Each division is assigned a shortened name based on the first letter of its full name. For example, the General Branch becomes the G Branch. These divisions are as follows:
- The Central Office – The central office is the nervous system for the entire department. Here all of the different branches are co-ordinated and their actions planned. The office not only ensures the smooth running of Buckingham Palace but also Windsor Castle and Holyrood House (The Queen’s official residence in Scotland) via a superintendent stationed at each residence.
- General Branch – This branch of the Master of the Household’s department has a variety of tasks in maintaining the running of the household. The general branch plans luggage arrangements for Her Majesty, looks after guests of the Royal Family, manages the wine cellars, porcelain and glass for banquets and ensures flower arrangements are kept presentable.
- Housekeeping Branch – The Housekeeping Branch is to thank for the immaculately presented palaces and households which have become a symbol of the British Monarchy.
- Craft Branch – This section of the department is home to a number of extremelyskilled craftsmen and women who are responsible for the maintenance and repair of items of historical importance to the Royal Family and the United Kingdom. Housed mainly at Windsor Castle, these people ensure that items such as wooden furniture are looked after appropriately to ensure they remain for as long as possible.
- Food Branch – The Food Branch is in charge of creating and serving meals at the residences whether it be a small luncheon for five people or a formal state banquet, hosted by Her Majesty, The Queen for 500 visiting heads of state and dignitaries.
View a short video on butlering for the Royal Household: