Peter Ricketts » Ambassador to France

2014, a year of anniversaries

Sir Peter Ricketts and Her Majesty the Queen at the British Ambassador's Residence

So this is the time of year when I look back at what we’ve achieved and 2014 will stay in my mind a long time as a year of anniversaries. We’ve had the 20th anniversary of the Channel Tunnel, and the Queen unveiled a little plaque to commemorate that at Saint Pancras when she was coming here in June. 

#FootballRemembers: commemorating the Christmas Truce in 1914

The Embassy football team

I’m really proud that the British Council team here in Paris have been leading the campaign with the Council to remember the football truce, that extraordinary moment around Christmas of 1914 when British and German soldiers got out of their trenches around Ypres (but we think also in some areas in France) and ended up playing football together in no man’s land.

Happy birthday to the Hôtel de Charost!

British Ambassador's Residence - Entrance hall

Two hundred years ago this week, the British Government paid Pauline Borghese 800,000 Francs for this wonderful house behind me, the Hôtel de Charost. And it has been the British Ambassadors’ Residence ever since then.

#HeforShe

Un Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson at UNGA.

The British actress Emma Watson is a UN Ambassador for women’s issues and she made her first speech at the UN a few days ago, launching a campaign on gender equality. I think she put her finger on a very important point, which is that gender equality is not a woman’s issue, it’s a man’s issue.

The Battle of the Marne

Feature image for:  The Battle of the Marne

Today I represented the UK at the commemoration of the Battle of the Marne, which raged for 5 days from 5 September 1914 and was one of the turning points of WW1. From the start of the War in early August, the German Armies advanced relentlessly across Belgium and into France. The French forces, and the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) that had come to join them, fell back under the … Read more »The Battle of the Marne

Guest blog: Sir Francis Bertie meets Sir John French and Lord Kitchener in Paris

Sir Francis Bertie GCVO GCMG GCB

Rummaging in my library, I found the following blog-post left by my predecessor, with remarkable prescience, to be posted exactly 100 years later! It recounts a dramatic meeting that really did take place in the Residence on 1 September 1914 directly related to the conduct of the War, and in which my predecessor took a courageous stand. As he recounts…   What a day it has been! I am leaving … Read more »Guest blog: Sir Francis Bertie meets Sir John French and Lord Kitchener in Paris

Have a wonderful holiday in France!

Sir Peter Ricketts in Toulouse on 4 October 2012

Now we’re in the summer season, millions of British people, literally, come to France every year, and almost everyone has a wonderful holiday. That’s obviously what we want in the Embassy as well.

It’s #TimeToAct

End Sexual Violence in Conflict - #TimeToAct

We’ve just had an extraordinary few days here with the State Visit of Her Majesty The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh – but of course there’s a lot else happening in the world as well. I talked before about my foreign minister William Hague’s initiative on preventing sexual violence in conflict. Well, the big summit in London is now underway. Four days focused on this crucial issue.