But top QC claims she is NOT the first woman to hold the prestigious title
This afternoon new Justice Secretary Liz Truss was formally sworn in at the Royal Courts of Justice (RCJ).
With senior members of the judiciary and press huddled into courtroom four of the RCJ, Truss arrived wearing the traditional black and gold robes.
Opting to enter the building using the more discreet judges’ entrance, Truss was joined alongside Master of the Rolls Lord Dyson (left) and Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd (right).
Legal affairs journalist Joshua Rozenberg QC (hon) broadcast Truss’ arrival live on Facebook.
Once inside, Truss — who, like her predecessors Michael Gove and Chris Grayling, is not a lawyer — told those gathered that modernisation of the court system is high on her agenda.
The University of Oxford graduate also took the opportunity to trumpet her status as the first Lady Chancellor.
Liz Truss says she is the first woman Lord Chancellor if not first woman to hold Great Seal. Promises to uphold rule of law.
— Joshua Rozenberg (@JoshuaRozenberg) July 21, 2016
But despite reports to the contrary, it appears Truss’ claim to fame is already being questioned.
Fantastic: Lord Pannick says Liz Truss is NOT first female Lord Chancellor – it was Eleanor of Provence, who filled in for Henry III in 1253
— Esther Webber (@estwebber) July 20, 2016
Lord Pannick QC, speaking at the House of Lords last night, claimed that Henry III’s wife Queen Eleanor actually held the position back in 1253. The Blackstone Chambers silk told those gathered:
I should point out that, contrary to reports, Liz Truss is not the first female Lord Chancellor. Lord Campbell, in his 19th century Lives of the Lord Chancellors, included Queen Eleanor, wife of Henry III. In 1253, in the king’s absence abroad, Eleanor performed all the duties of the office, judicial as well as administrative, for the best part of a year.
News of the revelation quickly filtered through on social media, with one Twitter user posting an extract of Pannick’s source.
— Resjudicatamyfoot (@Resjudicatamyft) July 21, 2016
Despite Truss now having to hand back the title of first Lady Chancellor, one thing is for certain. Nobody can take away her passion for cheese and pork.
— Legal Cheek (@legalcheek) July 15, 2016