THE eagerly-awaited naming of the Queen’s representative on the Rock has finally been revealed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Hot favourite Vice Admiral Sir David Steel was confirmed Gibraltar’s new Governor after Lieutenant General Ed Davis finished his four year term in January.
Gibraltar’s Governors, mostly military officers, are appointed by the UK Government to serve as heads of state, in charge of the Rock’s defence and security.
Steel was tipped to be the new Governor back in November last year and he will be flying in to serve his term as from June.
Below are the ten things you might not know about the new governor:
- Steel worked in the UK navy from 1979 up until 2015 when he retired with the rank of Vice Admiral and Second Sea Lord.
- Serving in the Kosovo War in 1999, he received a Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service whilst on board the HMS Invincible.
- He oversaw the first change in the Royal Navy uniform since 1890 with what he called a ‘modern uniform which suits a modern Navy’. “It is comfortable to wear in the extremes of climate in which the Royal Navy operates – from the Antarctic to the Gulf,” said Steel on its launch in 2015
- Steel became a lawyer and is now Master of the Bench, so he will feel at home with Gibraltar’s ‘barristocracy’ under Chief Minister Fabian Picardo.
- The Vice-Admiral was commended for “inspirational leadership” as commander Portsmouth Naval Base, which he took over on November 2005.
- He was named Chief Naval Logistics Officer and Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty the Queen.
- As Director of Service Personnel Policy he was in charge of the pay and allowances at the Ministry of Defence.
- Steel, already holding a CBE, was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2015 New Year Honours List.
- He has held a number of top roles outside the military, as director of the Portsmouth Cultural Trust, CEO of Leeds Castle and Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire.
- Steel is a vice-president of the Marine Society and Sea Cadets as well as a Freeman of the City of London.
“All in Gibraltar and Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar will look forward to welcoming Sir David to the Rock in June,” said Chief Minister Picardo.
The new governor will certainly need nerves of steel to face some of the coming hurdles Gibraltar will need to overcome during his stay.
At sea, the Rock is constantly being threatened by incursions from Spanish marine forces, although often the governor’s hands are tied on this matter.
The most pressing issue on the international diplomacy front is Brexit although he might also need to take a strong stand if there is a new outbreak of the coronavirus.