Christopher Geidt: the suave, shrewd and mysterious royal insider

MPs have in the past asked in the Commons whether Geidt – now the Queen’s private secretary – was a member of MI6

This article was amended on 31 May 2013 to remove a number of inaccuracies regarding Sir Christopher Geidt in the article, which overstated his role as the Queen’s private secretary in relation to the royal charter for the press. We have also clarified aspects of his legal action against John Pilger and Central Television. We apologise for the errors.

When the Queen turned around to reveal herself as James Bond’s spymaster in a skit for the opening ceremony of the London Olympics, jaws dropped in living rooms around the country at the audacity and humour. But for those that know Sir Christopher Geidt, the Queen’s highly trusted private secretary who has been credited with her deft presentation in recent years, it was more a case of eyebrows raised.

Geidt, 51, now in his sixth year by the Queen’s side at Buckingham Palace, has a past that includes suggestions of involvement in and around the secret services. When he successfully sued for libel after being wrongly accused of being part of an SAS operaton training allies of the traitor …read more  

Royal official handling press charter won damages over reporter's SAS claim

Queen’s private secretary Sir Christopher Geidt won high court libel action against John Pilger and Central TV in 1991

This article was amended on 31 May 2013 to remove a number of inaccuracies regarding Sir Christopher Geidt in the article, which overstated his role as the Queen’s private secretary in relation to the royal charter for the press. We have also clarified aspects of his legal action against John Pilger and Central Television. We apologise for the errors.

The senior royal official tasked with handling a royal charter to regulate the press is a former military intelligence officer who successfully sued an investigative journalist who had sought to question his presence in Cambodia in the 1980s.

Sir Christopher Geidt, who is the Queen’s private secretary, won a high-court libel action against John Pilger and Central Television in 1991. Uncertainty around Geidt’s role in Cambodia sparked a debate at the time in parliament that included questions over his possible links to MI6 or the British military.

A court heard that Geidt and another former army officer, Anthony de Normann, had wrongly been accused by Pilger’s documentary of being SAS officers who trained the Khmer Rouge to lay mines.

Pilger, who had claimed he never …read more  

Lee Rigby will be long remembered. Not so every military casualty | Ian Jack

The Indian sailors recruited by Britain’s merchant navy died in their thousands during two world wars. Most of them weren’t even commemorated at all

Sometimes the public remember the dead – the “glorious dead”, as the war memorials describe them – and sometimes we forget them completely. Sometimes, in fact, we never knew who they were in the first place. The whole business is so arbitrary, depending not only on questions of where, when and how people died, but also on the question of what rank or race they were. To die in the service of Britain or the British empire doesn’t necessarily guarantee a public display of gratitude. A good way to understand this is to take a short walk from three stations on London’s Docklands Light Railway, as I did this week on a damp, oppressive afternoon that turned the city grey.

I began at the line’s end in Woolwich, where Lee Rigby, a 25-year-old soldier with the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, was stabbed and hacked to death on 22 May. Woolwich is an old military town that once had a famous arsenal and a royal dockyard and still has a barracks, and it never lets …read more