Monday, November 07, 2022

Admiral of the Fleet The Baron Boyce, KG, GCB, OBE, KStJ, DL 1943-2022

 Admiral of the Fleet The Baron Boyce, KG, GCB, OBE, KStJ, DL, died 6 November, 2022. He was 79. 

Lord Boyce was a South African-born British Royal Navy officer who also sat as a crossbench member of the House of Lords until his death. He was appointed Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports on 10 December 2004, succeeding the late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in that role, and later awarded England's highest order of chivalry, the Garter.

The death of Lord Boyce now leaves six vacancies in the membership of the Order of the Garter, who when at full capacity number 24.

Michael Cecil Boyce was born 2 April, 1943, son of Commander Hugh Boyce DSC and Madeline (née Manley), and was educated at Hurstpierpoint College and the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. He joined the Royal Navy as a cadet in 1961. Michael Boyce commanded three submarines and then a frigate before achieving higher command in the Navy and serving as First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff from 1998 to 2001 and then as Chief of the Defence Staff from 2001 to 2003. As Chief of Defence Staff he is believed to have had concerns about US plans for a national missile defence system. In early 2003 he advised the British Government on the deployment of troops for the invasion of Iraq, seeking assurances as to the legitimacy of the deployment before it was allowed to proceed.

He was appointed OBE in 1982, KCB in 1995, and advanced to GCB in 1999. He was raised to the peerage for life as Baron Boyce, of Pimlico in the City of Westminster, on 16 June 2003.  He was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London on 19 December 2003. He was appointed a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter in 2011. On 6 December 2021, Boyce was appointed Vice-Admiral of the United Kingdom.

Lord Boyce married 1stly, in 1971, Harriette Gail Fletcher, by whom he had one son and one daughter. Following the dissolution of his first marriage, he married Fleur Margaret Anne Rutherford (née Smith). Lady Boyce died in 2016 at the age of 67.

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