He also became an Anti-Submarine Warfare specialist. Away from the underwater world, amongst other duties, he commanded the frigate HMS BRILLIANT, was Director of the Naval Staff and had the role of Senior Naval Officer Middle East. He was promoted to the Flag List in 1991 and was subsequently Flag Officer Sea Training; Flag Officer Surface Flotilla; Commander in Chief Naval Home Command and Second Sea Lord; and Commander in Chief Fleet. During this period he was knighted and also held a variety of senior NATO Commands. He became First Sea Lord in 1998, Chief of Defence Staff at the beginning of 2001 and retired in May 2003. He was appointed Admiral of the Fleet in June 2014. He was a Non-Executive Director/SID on the Board of W S Atkins plc (2004-2013) and a Non-Executive Director of VT Group plc 2004-2010. He is Chairman of The D Group Advisory Board, an Advisor to Atkins and a former Adviser to Atos, CSC and Protection Group International.

Lord Boyce was elevated to the peerage in June 2003 and was appointed Lord Warden and Admiral of the Cinque Ports and Constable of Dover Castle in July 2004; and King of Arms of the Order of the Bath in 2009-2018. He was made a Knight Companion of the Order of the Garter in April 2011. He is a Freeman of the City of London, Elder Brother of Trinity House, Knight of St John, Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London, Colonel Commandant of the Special Boat Service, an Honorary Doctor of Laws (Portsmouth), an Honorary Doctor of Civil Law (University of Kent), an Honorary Doctor of Canterbury Christ Church University, an Honorary Doctor of Science Imperial College London and an Honorary Bencher, Middle Temple.

He is, has been, also involved in a large number of charities and associations, including being: Chairman Royal National Lifeboat Institution (2008-2013); Chairman HMS Victory Preservation Company; Chairman Advisory Board Centre for Blast Injury Studies; Vice-President White Ensign Association (Chairman 2007-2010); Trustee National Maritime Museum (2005-2013); Governor Hospital of Sir John Hawkins (2004-); President of St John Ambulance (London District) (2003-2011); President of the Officers’ Association (2003-2012); Vice-President Pilgrims Society (President 2010-2015); Patron Sail4Cancer; Patron of the Submariners Association; Patron Trafalgar Woods; Patron Forces in Mind Trust; President Royal Navy Submarine Museum; Vice President Forces Pension Society; Vice Patron Tall Ships Youth Trust; Vice Patron Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust (2015-). He is a Liveryman and Court Member of the Drapers’ Company, (Master 2013-2014); and Vice President & a Trustee of Naval & Military Club (Vice Chairman & Director 2003-2009).

He is a keen sportsman, on and off the water, and follower of opera and ballet.

Clubs: Garrick; Naval & Military