Lord warden of the Cinque Ports

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The King has approved the appointment of Admiral Sir George Zambellas as the new lord warden and admiral of the Cinque Ports. The announcement was made on Tuesday, May 21 and follows the death of the previous warden, Lord Boyce in November 2022. Sir George is only the third admiral to have held the office during its 800 year history.

The office of lord warden and admiral, now ceremonial in nature, was once one of the most powerful in England. It was a vital link between the crown and ports on the south-east coast which provided a fleet to serve successive kings for 500 years before the foundation of the Royal Navy. Recent holders of the office have included Sir Winston Churchill (1941-1965) and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (1978-2002).

The news was welcomed in Rye as one of the Cinque Ports. Rye’s town crier Paul Goring made a special cry outside the town hall on Wednesday May 21. In it he referenced the new lord warden’s military service, his “illustrious fore-bears” and wished him well in his new role from “the mayor of Rye and all its citizens.”

Mayor Andy Stuart and town crier Paul Goring welcome the announcement outside Rye Town Hall

The new lord warden has had a distinguished military career as his biography on the government’s website shows.

Sir George was educated at Stowe School and Southampton University and was commissioned into the Royal Navy in 1980. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1982, flying with the Fleet Air Arm, to commander in 1994 and captain in 1999. In 2001, he received the distinguished service cross (DSC) following operations in Sierra Leone.

In 2002, Sir George was made commodore and was appointed principal staff officer to the chief of the defence staff, serving Admiral Boyce and General Walker, before command of the UK Amphibious Force, and the UK Maritime Force. He was promoted to vice admiral in 2011, and to admiral in 2012 as NATO maritime commander and UK commander in chief.

He was appointed KCB in 2012 and became First Sea Lord and chief of the naval staff in 2013. In the 2016 New Years Honours he was appointed GCB. Beyond his commercial career in small hi-tech companies, he holds charitable positions, as an Elder Brother of Trinity House, in the White Ensign Association, the VC & GC Association, The Worshipful Company of Shipwrights, The Shipwrecked Mariners Society, the Navy Wings Trust and the Fly Harrier Trust. He is Gentleman Usher to the Sword of State.

Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Admiral_Sir_George_Zambellas_KCB_DSC_ADC_DL,_First_Sea_Lord_and_Chief_of_Naval_Staff,_Royal_Navy_%2819096731904%29.jpg, James Stewart .

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