Thirty years on from the fall of the Iron Curtain, we look at how British diplomats responded to the revolutions unfolding around them.
Dr Richard Smith
Dr Richard Smith, Senior Historian at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and an editor of Documents on British Policy Overseas.
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 …
Dr Richard Smith reveals an exciting new Twitter project by the FCO Historians In 1914 Sir Francis Bertie held the plum posting in the British Diplomatic Service—the ambassadorship to Paris. Not only did it carry a yearly salary of £11,500 …
Diplomacy, and the Foreign Office, played a key role as events unfolded in the run-up to the First World War. For this reason FCO Historians wanted to mark the event but in an innovative way, and joined up with the Digital …
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- What’s the context? 25 June 1950: outbreak of the Korean War 25 June 2020
- What’s the context? 8 May 1945: VE Day, the end of the war in Europe 7 May 2020
- What’s the Context? Sentencing of atomic spy Klaus Fuchs, 1 March 1950 2 March 2020
- What’s the context? The release of Nelson Mandela, 11 February 1990 11 February 2020
- The Lancaster House Agreement 40 years on 23 December 2019