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.
Dr Richard Smith
Dr Richard Smith, Senior Historian at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and an editor of Documents on British Policy Overseas.
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 …
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 …
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- What’s the context? Foundation of the German Empire, 18 January 1871 20 January 2021
- What’s the Context? Signing the Anglo-American Financial Agreement, 6 December 1945 7 December 2020
- Preparing for Helsinki: the CSCE Multilateral Preparatory Talks 27 August 2020
- What’s the context? VJ Day, 15 August 1945 14 August 2020
- What’s the context? Opening of the Potsdam Conference, 17 July 1945 17 July 2020