Sir Peter is is the Master of The Queen’s music and has been since 2004 and is due to stay until 2014 (the post used to be for life, is now for 10 years). It was recently reported that Sir Peter had been diagnosed with leukaemia and that he is currently undergoing chemotherapy for the condition.
Since the reign of King George V, the position of master of The Queen’s music has had no fixed duties, although the Master may choose to produce compositions to mark Royal or State occasions if he or she wishes to do so, he participated in the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Since his appointment, Sir Peter has composed a Christmas carol for The Queen which was recorded by the Chapels Royal, as well as a work to accompany the Poet Laureate’s poem to mark The Queen’s 80th birthday in 2006.
Sir Peter said yesterday [according to the Telegraph] he had been feeling unwell and run down for some time, but he was shocked when he was diagnosed with leukaemia in March. The disease, a cancer of the blood, that affects the white blood cells and weakens the immune system.
Despite being admitted immediately to a London hospital for chemotherapy, doctors have warned him there were no guarantees it would prove effective.
He has told the Royal Household of his diagnosis and cancelled engagements he had planned in the UK, Europe and China.