Chamberlain (office)

The Key of a Chamberlain at the Royal Court of Norway.

A chamberlain (Latin: camerarius) is an officer in charge of managing a household. In many countries there are ceremonial posts associated with the household of the sovereign.


Historically, many institutions and governments – monasteries, cathedrals and cities – also had the post of chamberlain, who usually had charge of finances.[1] The Finance Director of the City of London is still called the Chamberlain, while New York City had such a chamberlain, who managed city accounts, until the early 20th century.[2]


From the Old French chamberlain, chamberlenc, Modern French chambellan, from Old High German Chamarling, Chamarlinc, whence also the Medieval Latin cambellanus, camerlingus, camerlengus; Italian camerlingo; Spanish camerlengo, compounded of Old High German Chamara, Kamara [Latin camera, “chamber”], and the German suffix -ling.[3]


Some of the principal posts known by this name:



Around the year of 2012, The Grand Chamberlain of The Council, Alauddin bin Abu Bakar, on emergency broadcast had announced the divorce between the Sultan and his third wife.

June 7, 2015. The Grand Chamberlain of Brunei announced the new born prince of Deputy Sultan, Crown Prince of Brunei

Byzantine Empire




Holy Roman Empire





Roman Empire

Serbia in the Middle Ages


In Sweden there are eight serving chamberlains (kammarherrar) and four serving cabinet chamberlains (kabinettskammarherrar) at the royal court. The chamberlains are not employed by the court, but serve during ceremonial occasions such as state visits, audiences and official dinners.


In Thailand the head of the Bureau of the Royal Household is titled the Lord Chamberlain (เลขาธิการพระราชวัง). He has several Grand Chamberlains as his deputy, usually in charge of a specific portfolio.

United Kingdom

United States


See also

For other uses, see Chamberlain (disambiguation).
Look up chamberlain in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.


  1. Chamberlain Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. (from Encyclopædia Britannica 1911)
  2. "City of London leading personnel".
  3.  Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Chamberlain". Encyclopædia Britannica. 5 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 819–820.
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