David Steel (Royal Navy officer)

Sir David Steel
Governor of Gibraltar
In office
11 June 2020 – 23 May 2024
MonarchsElizabeth II
Charles III
Chief MinisterFabian Picardo
Preceded byEdward Davis
Succeeded bySir Ben Bathurst
Personal details
Born (1961-04-06) 6 April 1961 (age 63)
Military service
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Branch/serviceRoyal Navy
Years of service1979–2015
RankVice Admiral
CommandsSecond Sea Lord
Naval Secretary
HM Naval Base Portsmouth
Battles/warsKosovo War
AwardsKnight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service
Knight of Justice of the Order of St John

Vice Admiral Sir David George Steel, KBE, KStJ, DL (born 6 April 1961) is a retired senior Royal Navy officer who served as Second Sea Lord between 2012 and 2015. He served as Governor of Gibraltar from 2020 to 2024.

Early life

Steel was born on 6 April 1961. He was educated at Rossall School in Lancashire and attended Durham University where he read law, graduating in 1983.[1] He was called to the bar in 1988.[2]

Military career

Vice Admiral Sir David Steel in 2024 as Governor of Gibraltar

Steel joined the Royal Navy in 1979.[2] His early career was spent in a variety of sea and shore appointments, including as the Fleet Legal Adviser. In December 1999, while serving in the aircraft carrier HMS Invincible, he was awarded a Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in support of operations in Kosovo and Macedonia earlier that year.[3] In November 2005 he assumed command of HM Naval Base Portsmouth and in that capacity was honoured for his "inspirational leadership" during the Government's savings review of Naval Bases in 2007.[4] He was also appointed Chief Naval Logistics Officer and Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty The Queen.[5]

In November 2008 Steel was appointed Director of Service Personnel Policy (Pay and Allowances) at the Ministry of Defence and,[6] in April 2010, he was promoted to rear admiral and appointed Naval Secretary.[7] He was promoted to vice admiral and appointed Second Sea Lord in October 2012.[8]

Already a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), Steel was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in the 2015 New Year Honours.[9][10] He was appointed a Knight of the Order of St John (KStJ) on 11 November 2020.[11]

Later professional life

Viceregal styles of
Sir David Steel
Reference styleHis Excellency
Spoken styleYour Excellency

In 2011 Steel was appointed as a Director of Portsmouth Cultural Trust, a role he held until 2016.[12] In 2015 he became Chief Executive of the Leeds Castle Foundation and Enterprises Limited.[13] He is a Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire,[14] a Freeman of the City of London,[15] and a Bencher of the Middle Temple.[16]

Among his other commitments Steel is a trustee of the Nuffield Trust for the Forces of the Crown,[17] and President and Chairman of Trustees of the Union Jack Club.[18][19] He is President of the Church of England Soldiers', Sailors' and Airmen's Clubs and Housing Association,[20] Patron of the Boleh Sailing Trust,[21][22] a vice-president of the Marine Society & Sea Cadets,[23][24] and an ambassador for the Woodland Trust.[25][26]

Steel served as the Governor of Gibraltar from 11 June 2020 to 23 May 2024.[27]


  1. ^ "Durham University gazette, 1982/83". reed.dur.ac.uk. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Chief of Naval Personnel & Training and Second Sea Lord". MOD – Royal Navy. Archived from the original on 2 April 2014. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  3. ^ "No. 55711". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1999. p. 43.
  4. ^ Hands off our base Portsmouth News, 17 October 2007
  5. ^ Royal Navy Logistics officers' conference – A NAVSUP perspective Navy Supply Corps Newsletter, 1 September 2008
  6. ^ "Royal Navy Engineer takes command of Portsmouth Naval Base". Queen's Harbour Master. Archived from the original on 24 December 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2008.
  7. ^ Next 2SL is appointed Navy News, February 2010
  8. ^ Ups and outs July 2012 Defence Viewpoints
  9. ^ "No. 61092". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2014. p. N5.
  10. ^ "New Year Honours for service personnel and defence civilians 2015". Retrieved 31 December 2014.
  11. ^ "Promotions in, and Appointments to, the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem". Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  12. ^ "Portsmouth Cultural Trust Trustees: Director". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  13. ^ "Chief Executive of the Leeds Castle Foundation". Leeds Castle. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  14. ^ "No. 60930". The London Gazette. 14 July 2014. p. 13797.
  15. ^ "Vice Admiral David Steel". Royal Navy. Archived from the original on 2 April 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  16. ^ "Masters of the Bench". Middle Temple. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  17. ^ "The Nuffield Trust for the Forces of the Crown Governance and Administration". The Nuffield Trust for the Forces of the Crown. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  18. ^ "Council & General Committee". The Union Jack Club. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  19. ^ "The Union Jack Club 5 Year Plan" (PDF). The Union Jack Club. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  20. ^ "CESSAC Impact Statement" (PDF). CESSAC. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  21. ^ "Trustees of Boleh Trust". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  22. ^ "Boleh's Patron and Trustees". Boleh Trust. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  23. ^ "11th Annual Court of Marine Society & Sea Cadets". Marine Society & Sea Cadets. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  24. ^ "Marine Society & Sea Cadets Trustees". Marine Society & Sea Cadets. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  25. ^ "Woodland Trust Ambassadors". Woodland Trust. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  26. ^ "Battle of Jutland Memorial Wood". Woodland Trust. Archived from the original on 13 May 2016. Retrieved 13 May 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  27. ^ "Change of Governor of Gibraltar". Gov.uk. Retrieved 19 May 2020.

External links

Media related to Sir David Steel at Wikimedia Commons

Military offices
Preceded by Naval Secretary
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Sir Charles Montgomery
Second Sea Lord
Succeeded by
Sir Jonathan Woodcock
Government offices
Preceded by Governor of Gibraltar
Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=David_Steel_(Royal_Navy_officer)&oldid=1225310288"