Israel the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia, located on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. It has land borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the east and west and Egypt to the southwest; the country contains geographically diverse features within its small area. Israel's economic and technological center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although the state's sovereignty over Jerusalem has only partial recognition. Israel has evidence of the earliest migration of hominids out of Africa. Canaanite tribes are archaeologically attested since the Middle Bronze Age, while the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah emerged during the Iron Age; the Neo-Assyrian Empire destroyed Israel around 720 BCE. Judah was conquered by the Babylonian and Hellenistic empires and had existed as Jewish autonomous provinces.
The successful Maccabean Revolt led to an independent Hasmonean kingdom by 110 BCE, which in 63 BCE however became a client state of the Roman Republic that subsequently installed the Herodian dynasty in 37 BCE, in 6 CE created the Roman province of Judea. Judea lasted as a Roman province until the failed Jewish revolts resulted in widespread destruction, expulsion of Jewish population and the renaming of the region from Iudaea to Syria Palaestina. Jewish presence in the region has persisted to a certain extent over the centuries. In the 7th century CE, the Levant was taken from the Byzantine Empire by the Arabs and remained in Muslim control until the First Crusade of 1099, followed by the Ayyubid conquest of 1187; the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt extended its control over the Levant in the 13th century until its defeat by the Ottoman Empire in 1517. During the 19th century, national awakening among Jews led to the establishment of the Zionist movement in the diaspora followed by waves of immigration to Ottoman Syria and British Mandate Palestine.
In 1947, the United Nations adopted a Partition Plan for Palestine recommending the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states and an internationalized Jerusalem. The plan was accepted by the Jewish Agency, rejected by Arab leaders; the following year, the Jewish Agency declared the independence of the State of Israel, the subsequent 1948 Arab–Israeli War saw Israel's establishment over most of the former Mandate territory, while the West Bank and Gaza were held by neighboring Arab states. Israel has since fought several wars with Arab countries, since the Six-Day War in 1967 held occupied territories including the West Bank, Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip, it extended its laws to the Golan East Jerusalem, but not the West Bank. Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories is the world's longest military occupation in modern times. Efforts to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict have not resulted in a final peace agreement. However, peace treaties between Israel and both Egypt and Jordan have been signed.
In its Basic Laws, Israel defines itself as a democratic state. The country has a liberal democracy, with a parliamentary system, proportional representation, universal suffrage; the prime minister is head of government and the Knesset is the legislature. Israel is a developed country and an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development member, with the 32nd-largest economy in the world by nominal gross domestic product as of 2017; the country benefits from a skilled workforce and is among the most educated countries in the world with one of the highest percentages of its citizens holding a tertiary education degree. Israel has the highest standard of living in the Middle East, has one of the highest life expectancies in the world. Furthermore, Israel ranked 11th in the UN's 2018 World Happiness Report. Upon independence in 1948, the country formally adopted the name "State of Israel" after other proposed historical and religious names including Eretz Israel and Judea, were considered but rejected.
In the early weeks of independence, the government chose the term "Israeli" to denote a citizen of Israel, with the formal announcement made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Moshe Sharett. The names Land of Israel and Children of Israel have been used to refer to the biblical Kingdom of Israel and the entire Jewish people respectively; the name "Israel" in these phrases refers to the patriarch Jacob who, according to the Hebrew Bible, was given the name after he wrestled with the angel of the Lord. Jacob's twelve sons became the ancestors of the Israelites known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel or Children of Israel. Jacob and his sons had lived in Canaan but were forced by famine to go into Egypt for four generations, lasting 430 years, until Moses, a great-great grandson of Jacob, led the Israelites back into Canaan during the "Exodus"; the earliest known archaeological artifact to mention the word "Israel" as a collective is the Merneptah Stele of ancient Egypt. The area is known as the Holy Land, being holy for all Abrahamic religions including Judaism, Christianity and the Bahá'í Faith.
Under British Mandate, the whole region was known as Palestine (Hebre
Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, commerce, fashion and the arts; the City of Paris is the centre and seat of government of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an estimated official 2019 population of 12,213,364, or about 18 percent of the population of France. The Paris Region had a GDP of €681 billion in 2016, accounting for 31 percent of the GDP of France, was the 5th largest region by GDP in the world. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey in 2018, Paris was the second most expensive city in the world, after Singapore, ahead of Zurich, Hong Kong and Geneva. Another source ranked Paris as most expensive, on a par with Singapore and Hong-Kong, in 2018; the city is a major rail and air-transport hub served by two international airports: Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly.
Opened in 1900, the city's subway system, the Paris Métro, serves 5.23 million passengers daily, is the second busiest metro system in Europe after Moscow Metro. Gare du Nord is the 24th busiest railway station in the world, the first located outside Japan, with 262 million passengers in 2015. Paris is known for its museums and architectural landmarks: the Louvre was the most visited art museum in the world in 2018, with 10.2 million visitors. The Musée d'Orsay and Musée de l'Orangerie are noted for their collections of French Impressionist art, the Pompidou Centre Musée National d'Art Moderne has the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe; the historical district along the Seine in the city centre is classified as a UNESCO Heritage Site. Popular landmarks in the centre of the city include the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris and the Gothic royal chapel of Sainte-Chapelle, both on the Île de la Cité. Paris received 23 million visitors in 2017, measured by hotel stays, with the largest numbers of foreign visitors coming from the United States, the UK, Germany and China.
It was ranked as the third most visited travel destination in the world in 2017, after Bangkok and London. The football club Paris Saint-Germain and the rugby union club Stade Français are based in Paris; the 80,000-seat Stade de France, built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, is located just north of Paris in the neighbouring commune of Saint-Denis. Paris hosts the annual French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on the red clay of Roland Garros. Paris will host the 2024 Summer Olympics; the 1938 and 1998 FIFA World Cups, the 2007 Rugby World Cup, the 1960, 1984, 2016 UEFA European Championships were held in the city and, every July, the Tour de France bicycle race finishes there. The name "Paris" is derived from the Celtic Parisii tribe; the city's name is not related to the Paris of Greek mythology. Paris is referred to as the City of Light, both because of its leading role during the Age of Enlightenment and more because Paris was one of the first large European cities to use gas street lighting on a grand scale on its boulevards and monuments.
Gas lights were installed on the Place du Carousel, Rue de Rivoli and Place Vendome in 1829. By 1857, the Grand boulevards were lit. By the 1860s, the boulevards and streets of Paris were illuminated by 56,000 gas lamps. Since the late 19th century, Paris has been known as Panam in French slang. Inhabitants are known in French as Parisiens, they are pejoratively called Parigots. The Parisii, a sub-tribe of the Celtic Senones, inhabited the Paris area from around the middle of the 3rd century BC. One of the area's major north–south trade routes crossed the Seine on the île de la Cité; the Parisii minted their own coins for that purpose. The Romans began their settlement on Paris' Left Bank; the Roman town was called Lutetia. It became a prosperous city with a forum, temples, an amphitheatre. By the end of the Western Roman Empire, the town was known as Parisius, a Latin name that would become Paris in French. Christianity was introduced in the middle of the 3rd century AD by Saint Denis, the first Bishop of Paris: according to legend, when he refused to renounce his faith before the Roman occupiers, he was beheaded on the hill which became known as Mons Martyrum "Montmartre", from where he walked headless to the north of the city.
Clovis the Frank, the first king of the Merovingian dynasty, made the city his capital from 508. As the Frankish domination of Gaul began, there was a gradual immigration by the Franks to Paris and the Parisian Francien dialects were born. Fortification of the Île-de-la-Citie failed to avert sacking by Vikings in 845, but Paris' strategic importance—with its bridges prevent
John Kerr, Baron Kerr of Kinlochard
John Olav Kerr, Baron Kerr of Kinlochard, is a Scottish politician and former diplomat, now Deputy Chairman of Scottish Power and a crossbench member of the House of Lords. He was a member of the European Convention that first drafted what became Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which came into force in December 2009. Born in Grantown-on-Spey, he was educated at Pembroke College, Oxford, he has Honorary degrees from the Universities of St Andrews and Glasgow. He is a Fellow of Imperial College London and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, an Honorary Fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford, he served in the British Diplomatic Service from 1966 until 2002. This included postings at the British Embassy in Moscow, at the High Commission in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, he was Private secretary to the Permanent Under Secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 1974 until 1979, was on secondment to HM Treasury from 1979 until 1984, during which time he was Principal Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1981 until 1984.
He was Head of Chancery at the British Embassy in Washington DC from 1984 until 1987 Assistant Under Secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 1987 until 1990. He was Ambassador and UK Permanent Representative to the European Communities/European Union in Brussels from 1990 until 1995, Ambassador to the United States in Washington from 1995 to 1997. Returning to London in 1997, he was Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office and Head of the Diplomatic Service until 2002. After leaving UK Government service he was Secretary General of the European Convention in 2002/3, he was appointed to the Order of St Michael and St George as a Companion in the 1987 Birthday Honours, was promoted to be a Knight Commander in the 1991 New Year Honours, to be a Knight Grand Cross in the 2001 Birthday Honours. Three years his life peerage was announced on 1 May and was raised to the peerage as Baron Kerr of Kinlochard, of Kinlochard in Perth and Kinross. In the House of Lords he has served on the EU Select Committee and three of its Sub-Committees, is a member of its Economic Select Committee.
He is a Trustee of the Refugee Council, a Trustee, Deputy Chairman, of the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland. He was Chairman of the Court and Council of Imperial College London from 2005 to 2011, he is Chairman of the Centre for European Reform, a member of the Executive Committee of the Trilateral Commission, President of St Andrew's Clinics for Children. He became a Director of Shell Transport and Trading in 2002, chaired the group of Directors who brought about the creation in 2005 of Royal Dutch Shell plc, of which he was Deputy Chairman and Senior Independent Director until 2012, he was a Director of Rio Tinto from 2003 to 2015. He has been a Director of the Scottish American Investment Trust since 2002, of Scottish Power Ltd since 2009, he became Deputy Chairman of Scottish Power in 2012. Before the 2016 Referendum, Lord Kerr had argued that leaving would mean that "our influence across the world would shrink", looking back in a lecture at the University of Bath on 26 January 2017 he remarked, "We have been strong in Brussels because we have been strong in Washington, we have been strong in Washington because we have been strong in Brussels".
He has maintained, in House of Lords speeches and in a BBC interview, that since an Article 50 notification is revocable during the two-year negotiation period, the UK could change its mind and choose to stay in the EU after exit negotiations had begun. Speaking at an event organised by the Institute for Government, Lord Kerr said: "In my view, immigration is the thing that keeps this country running. We native Brits are so bloody stupid that we need an injection of intelligent people, young people from outside who come in and wake us up from time to time." In response to the remarks, Peter Lilley MP walked out of the event, said he had considered reporting the peer to the police for hate speech and being "racially abusive of the British people". In an August 2017 article, Lord Kerr criticised Boris Johnson, "Callaghan, Howe, Hurd... Foreign Secretaries used to cut ice abroad in Europe and America, but maybe that’s not Boris’s game". 1942–1987: Mr John Kerr 1987–1990: Mr John Kerr 1990–1991: His Excellency John Kerr 1991–1997: His Excellency Sir John Kerr 1997–2001: Sir John Kerr 2001–2004: Sir John Kerr 2004–: The Rt Hon.
The Lord Kerr of Kinlochard In 1965 he married Elizabeth, daughter of the late Wilfrid Kalaugher. They have three daughters. Announcement of his introduction at the House of Lords House of Lords minutes of proceedings, 14 September 2004
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office called the Foreign Office, is a department of the Government of the United Kingdom. It is responsible for promoting British interests worldwide, it was created in 1968 by merging the Commonwealth Office. The head of the FCO is the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs abbreviated to "Foreign Secretary"; this is regarded as one of the four most prestigious positions in the Cabinet – the Great Offices of State – alongside those of Prime Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Home Secretary. The FCO is managed from day to day by a civil servant, the Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, who acts as the Head of Her Majesty's Diplomatic Service; this position is held by Sir Simon McDonald, who took office on 1 September 2015. Safeguarding the UK's national security by countering terrorism and weapons proliferation, working to reduce conflict. Building the UK's prosperity by increasing exports and investment, opening markets, ensuring access to resources, promoting sustainable global growth.
Supporting British nationals around the world through modern and efficient consular services. The FCO Ministers are as follows: Eighteenth centuryThe Foreign Office was formed in March 1782 by combining the Southern and Northern Departments of the Secretary of State, each of which covered both foreign and domestic affairs in their parts of the Kingdom; the two departments' foreign affairs responsibilities became the Foreign Office, whilst their domestic affairs responsibilities were assigned to the Home Office. The Home Office is technically the senior. Nineteenth centuryDuring the 19th century, it was not infrequent for the Foreign Office to approach The Times newspaper and ask for continental intelligence, superior to that conveyed by official sources. Examples of journalists who specialized in foreign affairs and were well connected to politicians included: Henry Southern, Valentine Chirol, Harold Nicolson, Robert Bruce Lockhart. Twentieth centuryDuring the First World War, the Arab Bureau was set up within the British Foreign Office as a section of the Cairo Intelligence Department.
During the early cold war an important department was the Information Research Department, set up to counter Soviet propaganda and infiltration. The Foreign Office hired its first woman diplomat, Monica Milne, in 1946; the FCO was formed on 17 October 1968, from the merger of the short-lived Commonwealth Office and the Foreign Office. The Commonwealth Office had been created only in 1966, by the merger of the Commonwealth Relations Office and the Colonial Office, the Commonwealth Relations Office having been formed by the merger of the Dominions Office and the India Office in 1947—with the Dominions Office having been split from the Colonial Office in 1925; the Foreign and Commonwealth Office held responsibility for international development issues between 1970 and 1974, again between 1979 and 1997. From 1997, this became the responsibility of the separate Department for International Development; the National Archives website contains a Government timeline to show the departments responsible for Foreign Affairs from 1945.
When David Miliband took over as Foreign Secretary in June 2007, he set in hand a review of the FCO's strategic priorities. One of the key messages of these discussions was the conclusion that the existing framework of ten international strategic priorities, dating from 2003, was no longer appropriate. Although the framework had been useful in helping the FCO plan its work and allocate its resources, there was agreement that it needed a new framework to drive its work forward; the new strategic framework consists of three core elements: A flexible global network of staff and offices, serving the whole of the UK Government. Three essential services that support the British economy, British nationals abroad and managed migration for Britain; these services are delivered through UK Trade & Investment, consular teams in Britain and overseas, UK Visas and Immigration. Four policy goals: countering terrorism and weapons proliferation and their causes preventing and resolving conflict promoting a low-carbon, high-growth, global economy developing effective international institutions, in particular the United Nations and the European Union.
In August 2005, a report by management consultant group Collinson Grant was made public by Andrew Mackinlay. The report criticised the FCO's management structure, noting: The Foreign Office could be "slow to act". Delegation is lacking within the management structure. Accountability was poor; the FCO could feasibly cut 1200 jobs. At least £48 million could be saved annually; the Foreign Office commissioned the report to highlight areas which would help it achieve its pledge to reduce spending by £87 million over three years. In response to the report being made public, the Foreign Office stated it had implemented the report's recommendations. In 2009, Gordon Brown created the position of Chief Scientific Adviser to the FCO; the first science adviser was David C. Clary. On 25 April 2010, the department apologised after The Sunday Telegraph obtained a "foolish" document calling for the upcoming September visit of Pope Benedict XVI to be marked by the launch of "Benedict-branded" condoms, the opening of an abortion clinic and the blessing of a same-sex marriage.
In 2012, the Foreign Office was criticised by Gerald Steinberg, of the Jerusalem-based research institute NGO Monitor, saying that the Foreign Office and the Department for International Development provided more than £500,000 in funding to Palestinian NGOs which he said "promote political attacks on Israel." In response, a spokesman for the Foreign Office said "we are careful about who and what we fund. The obje
Leonard James Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff known as Jim Callaghan, was a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1976 to 1979 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1976 to 1980. So far the only holder of all four of the Great Offices of State, Callaghan served as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary prior to his appointment as Prime Minister; as Prime Minister, he had some successes, but is remembered for the "Winter of Discontent" of 1978–79. During a cold winter, his battle with trade unions led to immense strikes that inconvenienced the public, leading to his defeat in the polls by Conservative leader Margaret Thatcher. Callaghan was the last Prime Minister born before the First World War. Upon entering the House of Commons in 1945, he was on the left wing of the party. Callaghan moved towards the right, but maintained his reputation as "The Keeper of the Cloth Cap"—that is, he was seen as dedicated to maintaining close ties between the Labour Party and the trade unions.
Callaghan's period as Chancellor of the Exchequer coincided with a turbulent period for the British economy, during which he had to wrestle with a balance of payments deficit and speculative attacks on the pound sterling. On 18 November 1967, the government devalued the pound sterling. Callaghan became Home Secretary, he sent the British Army to support the police in Northern Ireland, after a request from the Northern Ireland Government. After Labour was defeated at the 1970 general election, Callaghan played a key role in the Shadow Cabinet, he became Foreign Secretary in 1974, taking responsibility for renegotiating the terms of the UK's membership of the European Communities, supporting a "Yes" vote in the 1975 referendum to remain in the EC. When Prime Minister Harold Wilson resigned in 1976, Callaghan defeated five other candidates to be elected as his replacement. Labour had lost its narrow majority in the House of Commons by the time he became Prime Minister, further by-election defeats and defections forced Callaghan to deal with minor parties such as the Liberal Party in the "Lib–Lab pact" from 1977 to 1978.
Industrial disputes and widespread strikes in the 1978 "Winter of Discontent" made Callaghan's government unpopular, the defeat of the referendum on devolution for Scotland led to the successful passage of a motion of no confidence on 28 March 1979. This was followed by a defeat at the ensuing general election. Callaghan remained Labour Party leader until November 1980, in order to reform the process by which the party elected its leader, before returning to the backbenches where he remained until he was made a life peer as Baron Callaghan of Cardiff, he went on to live longer than any other British prime minister in history -- 364 days. Leonard James Callaghan was born at 38 Funtington Road, Portsmouth, England, on 27 March 1912, he took his middle name from his father, the son of an Irish Catholic father who had fled to England during the Great Irish Famine, a Jewish mother. Callaghan's father ran away from home in the 1890s to join the Royal Navy, he rose to the rank of Chief Petty Officer.
His mother was Charlotte Callaghan an English Baptist. As the Catholic Church at the time refused to marry Catholics to members of other denominations, James Callaghan senior abandoned Catholicism and married Charlotte in a Baptist chapel, their first child was Dorothy Gertrude Callaghan. James Callaghan senior served in the First World War on board the battleship HMS Agincourt. After he was demobbed in 1919, he joined the Coastguard and the family moved to the town of Brixham in Devon, however he died only two years of a heart attack in 1921 at the age of 44, leaving the family without an income, forced to rely on charity to survive, their financial situation was improved in 1924 when the first Labour government was elected, introduced changes allowing Mrs Callaghan to be granted a widows pension of ten shillings a week, on the basis that her husband's death was due to his war service. In his early years, Callaghan was known by his first name Leonard, when he entered politics in 1945 he decided to be known by his middle name James, from on he was referred to as James or Jim.
He attended Portsmouth Northern Secondary School. He gained the Senior Oxford Certificate in 1929, but could not afford entrance to university and instead sat the Civil Service entrance exam. At the age of 17, Callaghan left to work as a clerk for the Inland Revenue at Maidstone in Kent. While working as a tax inspector, Callaghan joined the Maidstone branch of the Labour Party and the Association of the Officers of Taxes a trade union for those in his profession, and within a year of joining he became the office secretary of the union. In 1932 he passed a Civil Service exam which enabled him to become a senior tax inspector, that same year he became the Kent branch secretary of the AOT; the following year he was elected to the AOT's national executive council. In 1934, he was transferred to Inland Revenue offices in London. Following a merger of unions in 1936, Callaghan was appointed a full-time union official and to the post of Assistant Secretary of the Inland Revenue Staff Federation, resigned from his Civil Service duties.
During his time working as a tax inspector in the early-1930s, Callaghan met his future wife Audrey Moulton, an
Order of St Michael and St George
The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George is a British order of chivalry founded on 28 April 1818 by George, Prince Regent King George IV, while he was acting as regent for his father, King George III. It is named in honour of St Michael and St George; the Order of St Michael and St George was awarded to those holding commands or high position in the Mediterranean territories acquired in the Napoleonic Wars, was subsequently extended to holders of similar office or position in other territories of the British Empire. It is at present awarded to men and women who hold high office or who render extraordinary or important non-military service in a foreign country, can be conferred for important or loyal service in relation to foreign and Commonwealth affairs; the Order includes three classes, in descending order of seniority and rank: Knight Grand Cross or Dame Grand Cross Knight Commander or Dame Commander Companion It is used to honour individuals who have rendered important services in relation to Commonwealth or foreign nations.
People are appointed to the Order rather than awarded it. British Ambassadors to foreign nations are appointed as KCMGs or CMGs. For example, the former British Ambassador to the United States, Sir David Manning, was appointed a CMG when he worked for the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, after his appointment as British Ambassador to the US, he was promoted to a Knight Commander, it is the traditional award for members of the FCO. The Order's motto is Auspicium melioris ævi, its patron saints, as the name suggests, are St. Michael the Archangel, St. George, patron saint of England. One of its primary symbols is that of St Michael subduing Satan in battle; the Order is the sixth-most senior in the British honours system, after The Most Noble Order of the Garter, The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, The Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick, The Most Honourable Order of the Bath, The Most Exalted Order of the Star of India. The third of the aforementioned Orders—which relates to Ireland, no longer a part of the United Kingdom—still exists but is in disuse.
The last of the Orders on the list, related to India, has been in disuse since that country's independence in 1947. The Prince Regent founded the Order to commemorate the British amical protectorate over the Ionian Islands, which had come under British control in 1814 and had been granted their own constitution as the United States of the Ionian Islands in 1817, it was intended to reward "natives of the Ionian Islands and of the island of Malta and its dependencies, for such other subjects of His Majesty as may hold high and confidential situations in the Mediterranean". In 1864, the protectorate ended and the Ionian Islands became part of Greece. A revision of the basis of the Order in 1868, saw membership granted to those who "hold high and confidential offices within Her Majesty's colonial possessions, in reward for services rendered to the Crown in relation to the foreign affairs of the Empire". Accordingly, numerous Governors-General and Governors feature as recipients of awards in the order.
In 1965 the order was opened to women, with Evelyn Bark becoming the first female CMG in 1967. The British Sovereign appoints all other members of the Order; the next-most senior member is the Grand Master. The office was filled by the Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands. Grand Masters include: 1818–1825: Sir Thomas Maitland 1825–1850: Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge 1850–1904: Prince George, Duke of Cambridge 1904–1910: George, Prince of Wales 1910–1917: None 1917–1936: Edward, Prince of Wales 1936–1957: Alexander Cambridge, 1st Earl of Athlone 1957–1959: Edward Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax 1959–1967: Harold Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis 1967–present: Prince Edward, Duke of KentThe Order included 15 Knights Grand Cross, 20 Knights Commanders, 25 Companions but has since been expanded and the current limits on membership are 125, 375, 1,750 respectively. Members of the Royal Family who are appointed to the Order do not count towards the limit, nor do foreign members appointed as "honorary members".
The Order has six officers. The Order's King of Arms is not a member of the College of Arms, like many other heraldic officers; the Usher of the Order is known as the Lady Usher of the Blue Rod. Blue Rod does not, unlike the usher of the Order of the Garter, perform any duties related to the House of Lords. Prelate – The Rt. Rev. David Urquhart Chancellor – Rt Hon. Lord Robertson of Port Ellen Secretary – Sir Simon McDonald Registrar – Sir David Manning King of Arms – Sir Jeremy Greenstock Lady Usher of the Blue Rod – Dame DeAnne Julius Members of the Order wear elaborate regalia on important occasions, which vary by rank: The mantle, worn only by Knights and Dames Grand Cross, is made of Saxon blue satin lined with crimson silk. On the left side is a representation of the star; the mantle is bound with two large tassels. The collar, worn only by Knights and Dames Grand Cross, is made of gold, it consists of depictions of crowned lions, Maltese Crosses, the cyphers "SM" and "SG", all alternately.
In the centre are two winged lions, each holding a book and seven arrows. At less important occasions, simpler insignia are used: The star is an insignia used only by Knights and Dames Grand Cross and Knights and Dames Commanders, it is worn pinned to the left breast. The Knight and
Lancing College is an independent boarding and day school in southern England, UK. The school is located in West Sussex, east of Worthing near the village of Lancing, on the south coast of England. Lancing was founded in 1848 by Nathaniel Woodard and educates c. 550 pupils between the ages of 13 and 18. Girls were admitted in 1971; the college is situated on a hill, part of the South Downs, the campus dominates the local landscape. The college overlooks the River Adur, the Ladywell Stream, a holy well or sacred stream within the College grounds, has pre-Christian significance. Woodard's aim was to provide education "based on sound principle and sound knowledge grounded in the Christian faith." Lancing was the first of a family of more than 30 schools founded by Woodard. 65% of pupils are boarders, at a cost of £32,910 per year. Occasional overnight stays are available to day pupils at an additional cost; the school is a member of the Headmistresses' Conference. Girls were first admitted in 1970; the school is dominated by a Gothic revival chapel, follows a high church Anglican tradition.
The College of St Mary and St Nicolas in Shoreham-by-Sea was intended for the sons of upper middle classes and professional men. The school's buildings of the 1850s were designed by the architect Richard Cromwell Carpenter, with ones by John William Simpson. In 2003, it was one of fifty of the country's leading independent schools which were found guilty of running an illegal price-fixing cartel which had allowed them to drive up fees for thousands of parents; each school was required to pay a nominal penalty of £10,000 and all agreed to make ex-gratia payments totalling three million pounds into a trust designed to benefit pupils who attended the schools during the period in respect of which fee information was shared. The foundation stone of the college chapel was laid in 1868, but the chapel itself was not finished in Woodard's lifetime. In fact, the chapel remains unfinished, it stands at about 50 metres, but the original plans called for a tower at the west end which would raise the height to 100 metres.
The apex of the vaulting rises to 27.4 m. It was designed by R. H. Carpenter and William Slater, is built of Sussex sandstone from Scaynes Hill; the chapel was dedicated to St Mary and St Nicolas in 1911, although the college worshipped in the finished crypt from 1875. Inside can be found, amongst other things, the tomb of the founder, three organs, a rose window designed by Stephen Dykes Bower, completed in 1977, the largest rose window in England, being 32 ft in diameter. People acknowledge it as the largest school chapel in the world, despite the fact that there appears to be no study or survey publicly available that can confirm that; the eastern organ is a two-manual mechanical organ built by the Danish firm Frobenius and was installed and voiced in situ in 1986. That year marked the completion of the rebuild of the four-manual Walker organ at the west end of the chapel – both of which were showcased in the opening concert by the American organ virtuoso, Carlo Curley. A stained-glass window was commissioned in memory of Trevor Huddleston OL, consecrated by Desmond Tutu on 22 May 2007.
The chapel is open to the public. During World War II, students were evacuated to Downton Castle in Herefordshire. Both the main college and the prep school buildings were requisitioned by the Admiralty and became part of the Royal Navy shore establishment HMS King Alfred. In 1856 Lancing created its own code of football, regarded as a means of fostering teamwork. George Warner Allen, artist Tim Battersby, composer and lyricist David Bedford, composer Giles Cooper, radio dramatist John Lowry-Corry, 8th Earl Belmore, art collector Frederick Gore, artist and author Brodrick Haldane, society portrait photographer Henry Hardy and composer Sir Peter Pears, tenor Edward Piper, artist Sir Tim Rice, lyricist Neil Richardson, composer Stuart Cloete, novelist Andrew Crofts, ghostwriter Plantagenet Somerset Fry and author Mark Mills and screenplay writer Jan Morris and journalist Alex Preston, novelist Tom Sharpe, novelist Evelyn Waugh, novelist Philip Womack and journalist George Baker, actor Christopher Hampton, playwright Sir David Hare, playwright Alex Horne, comedian Royce Ryton and playwright Jeremy Sinden, actor Dali Tambo, South African TV presenter Jamie Theakston, TV and radio presenter John Williams, actor Simon Cotton, actor & playwright Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana Greg Barker, Baron Barker of Battle, Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change Nicholas Browne-Wilkinson, Baron Browne-Wilkinson, Vice-Chancellor of the Supreme Court, Senior Lord of Appeal in Ordinary Tom Driberg, Baron Bradwell, Chairman of the Labour Party Sir Roger Fulford, President of the Liberal Party Patrick Maitland, 17th Earl of Lauderdale, Member of Parliament for Lanark Sir Robert Megarry, Vice-Chancellor of the Chancery Division, Vice-Chancellor of the Supreme Court Hugh Molson, Baron