The eldest son of the 2nd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, Monckton was educated at Harrow School, Churchill College, Cambridge and University College, Cardiff. He joined the Yorkshire Post in 1974 and then worked as a press officer at the Conservative Central Office from 1977–79. In 1979, he became the editor of the Catholic newspaper The Universe, and the managing editor of The Sunday Telegraph's Magazine in 1981.

In 1983 he returned to the Conservative offices again, this time as Margaret Thatcher's policy adviser. Three years later, he became assistant editor of the newly-formed newspaper, Today. His final job in journalism was as a consulting editor of the Evening Standard from 1987–92.

Monckton was a director of his own, namesake consultancy company, Christopher Monckton Ltd., between 1987 and 2006. He is also a member of the Worshipful Company of Broderers, an Officer of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem and a Knight of Honour and Devotion of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.