Sixty years ago simmering Cold-War tensions were dramatically brought to a head in Berlin. A new volume of documents from the FCDO Historians tells how Britain responded to the crisis brought about by the construction of the Berlin Wall. In the …
Dr Richard Smith
Dr Richard Smith, Senior Historian at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and an editor of Documents on British Policy Overseas.
To mark the signing of the Helsinki Final Act, 45 years ago this month, FCO Historians look back to where it all began – the CSCE preparatory talks.
Thirty years on from the fall of the Iron Curtain, we look at how British diplomats responded to the revolutions unfolding around them.
On 13 September 1944 a Dakota aircraft, with an escort of 45 Spitfires, flew across the English Channel towards Paris. The plane carried the new British Ambassador to France, Alfred ‘Duff’ Cooper, with the mission to re-establish a British presence in the newly liberated French capital.
Today is the memorial service for the former foreign secretary Lord (Peter) Carrington, who died July 2018 aged 99. We remember a life-time of his public service and his time as foreign secretary.
On 15 November, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Historians gathered in the Locarno Suite of the Foreign Office to mark our centenary. Joining us were former and current members of staff.
On this day in 1968 the Foreign and Commonwealth Office was created. But how did it come about, and what changes has the organisation seen in the last 50 years? The hole in the wall Back in 1963, a confrontation …
Sir Edward Grey, Foreign Secretary (1905 to 16), helped take Britain into the First World War but the conflict weighed heavily on him. This blog looks at the physical and emotional strain on Grey during his final years in office
The death of Lord Kitchener, who drowned when HMS Hampshire sank just off the Orkney’s north-west coast on 5 June 1916, came as a profound shock to the nation. The Secretary of State for War was the public face of …
For almost 80 years the distinguished profile of Sir Edward Grey has looked on as the great and the good have made their way in and out of the ‘Ambassador’s Entrance’ of the Foreign Office. But how did this memorial …
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History of government
This blog gives insights into the history of government – its development, its departments and some of the roles and people involved. Find out more.
- The Art of Delivery: The Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit 2001-2005 26 August 2022
- The Queen and her Prime Ministers 1 June 2022
- What’s the Context? The decision to build a British atomic bomb, 8 January 1947 7 January 2022
- What’s the Context? Occupying Powers sign Quadripartite Agreement on Berlin, 3 September 1971 3 September 2021
- What's the Context? Signature of the Atlantic Charter, 14 August 1941 28 July 2021