The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery fired a 41-gun salute in London’s Green Park to mark the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s first son. We do not yet know his name, but we do know that he is now third in line to be King. I am back in London for meetings at the Foreign Office. Yesterday afternoon I also had the honour of a meeting with … Who can be given a 41-gun salute?
The Arsenal fan who ran for five kilometres alongside the team bus in Hanoi, surviving collisions with a lamp-post and a tree, got the players singing “sign him up” to Arsene Wenger who was sitting at the front. After leaping onto a motorbike, he was eventually invited on board where the players signed his shirt and took pictures. Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny tells the story in a video posted on the … Arsenal dreams finally come true for “The Running Man”
I have been told that the most popular football team in Vietnam is Manchester United. But yesterday I found that “MU” have some irrepressible competition. At two o’clock in the afternoon in Hanoi Medical University’s indoor arena, two thousand Arsenal fans from all around the country created a frenzied match-day-like atmosphere even before the team had touched down in Vietnam. If the stadium had been twice the size, no doubt AFCVN, who … Arsenal arrive in Vietnam
In Lao Cai, in the mountainous North of Vietnam, live ten girls in a small house of rescue. When I visited recently to announce the opening of “Compassion House”, which we have funded, I heard one of these girls tell a gathering of officials and friends the story of how she had been “trafficked” to China, and sold into marriage at the age of thirteen. Britain and Vietnam are working … The House of Compassion
A Vietnamese friend recently asked me, why is the Queen’s Birthday on a different day each year? And it is true: Britain’s National Day is called “The Queen’s Birthday”, but is never held on the Queen’s actual birthday, which is on 21 April. Instead we celebrate at some other time, depending on the year and the place. My instinctive response is, what do you expect from a country like Britain, … Why is the Queen’s birthday on a different day every year?
Two days ago the British Embassy tried something we had never done before, when I chaired a Facebook discussion on the safety of Journalists. It generated a lot of interest and many thought-provoking comments. Those who commented did so in a constructive and positive spirit, and made this a fascinating experience for me. I have to admit that there were many more questions than answers. I know that not everyone would … Something we never did before
When Margaret Thatcher was elected British Prime Minister I was fourteen years old, and about to take my first “O-levels” (school exams). When she resigned I had been through school, a university degree course, a managerial training programme, several other private sector jobs and a doctorate. She had been one of the world’s most prominent political figures through all of my formative years and, though I never met her, hearing the … Lady Thatcher
1. It is not official diplomatic channels but personal links that lie at the heart of the bilateral relationship. Vietnam became the world’s fastest-growing destination for British tourists, according to a survey. In the opposite direction, we issued a record 13,000 visas to Vietnamese citizens. 2. Nonetheless diplomacy has its place, and Britain started to celebrate forty years of diplomatic relations. Our launch and promotions around the London Olympics, Paralympics … 10 diplomatic observations on the year of the dragon
When I first arrived in Vietnam, the complaint I heard more than any other was about our visa service. This struck home to me, not least because we want to make a good, happy (and efficient) first impression on visitors to Britain. In fact the complaints turned out mostly to stem from unhappiness about moving our visa processing operation to Bangkok. That is part of a worldwide move to process … How travel to Britain from South Vietnam just got a little easier
It began as just another dinner at my Residence. But genial discussion about science, education and the media was interrupted by a sudden explosion of passion when Professor Harry Kroto exposed the unfolding drama of a British national treasure under threat. The Nobel Prize winning chemist was in Hanoi to lecture at Vietnam National University as part of the International Peace Foundation’s “Bridges” event. The treasure under threat is the birthplace … Nobel Prize winner reveals heart-breaking news