The Lord Privy Seal (or, more formally, the Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal) is the fifth of the Great Officers of State in the United Kingdom, ranking beneath the Lord President of the Council and above the Lord Great Chamberlain. The office is one of the traditional sinecure offices of state. Originally, its holder was responsible for the monarch's personal (privy) seal (as opposed to the Great Seal of the Realm, which is in the care of the Lord Chancellor). Today, the holder of the office is invariably given a seat in the Cabinet of the United Kingdom.
Though one of the oldest offices in government anywhere, it has no particular function today; thus the office has generally been used as a kind of Minister without Portfolio. Since the premiership of Clement Attlee, the position of Lord Privy Seal has frequently been combined with that of Leader of the House of Lords or Leader of the House of Commons.
During the reign of Edward I, prior to 1307, the Privy Seal was kept by the Keeper of the Wardrobe.
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