HM Queen Elizabeth II Receives Two New Ambassadors

  February 18, 2009 at 9:45 am by

The Queen yesterday received two new Ambassadors to the United Kingdom from the Republic of Serbia and from Bosnia Herzegovina. As the Court Circular more formally referred to them, in diplomatic circles they are known as Ambassadors to the Court of St. James’.

The Queen receives Ambassador Negodic

Click the image to see the Getty photo gallery

Diplomatic relations is a major ceremonial aspect of Her Majesty’s life. Letters of credence, letters of recall and the London Diplomatic List may seem far removed from our everyday lives, but in the international world they are a key aspect of how realms and republics interact with each other. It is traditional for new Ambassadors and High Commissioners to travel to Buckingham Palace in a carriage procession shortly after their arrival in London; the new diplomat (dressed in formal attire – evening tails, morning coats or diplomatic court dress) then has an audience of The Queen when he or she presents a formal letter of credence from the sending Head of State which asks The Queen to accept the new Ambassador as their representative in London. Her Majesty always accepts and the new Ambassador is then considered an official member of the Corps Diplomatique.

The Letter of Credence is written in true formal style. The Queen addresses foreign Monarchs as Your Majesty, My dear Brother/ Sister and ends with Your dear sister, Elizabeth R. Similarly, presidents are Your Excellency and the letter ends Your good friend.

Having handed over this formal document, the latest addition to the List then has some light conversation with Her Majesty before presenting some members of the Embassy staff. Everyone then bows or curtsies to The Queen and departs for their Embassy where a reception is usually given by the Marshall of the Diplomatic Corps.

The New Ambassador will just have had a once in a lifetime experience, but for Her Majesty it is simply another day in the Office.

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