Rowan Williams is going to be a baron!
The Prime Minister's Office has announced today the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, has been given a life peerage by the Queen. Upon his retirement from office, Dr. Williams will become Baron Williams of Oystermouth.Somehow, "Baron Williams of Oystermouth" sounds strangely appropriate for a man who ought best be remembered for having mastered the art of ecclesiastical doublespeak.
The 26 December 2012 announcement from No. 10 Downing Street stated Dr,. Williams "will be created a Baron for Life by the style and title of Baron Williams of Oystermouth in the City and County of Swansea."
Under the Life Peerage Act of 1958 the Sovereign may appoint life peers who have the right to sit in the House of Lords. Life baronies under the Act are created by the Sovereign but, in practice, none are granted except upon the proposition of the prime minister, who may create up to 10 life baronies during each parliament in recognition for service to the country.
Court etiquette dictates Dr. Williams be addressed as the Rt. Hon. Baron Williams of Oystermouth, and in less formal circumstances as Baron or Lord Williams of Oystermouth. When the first name of a life peer is mentioned, it does not follow the honorific. Lord Rowan Williams connotates the archbishop is the son of a member of the higher peerage -- an earl or duke. If the first name is used, he would be called Rowan, Lord Williams.