Peter Ricketts » Ambassador to France

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.

Her Majesty The Queen in France

Her Majesty The Queen

We’re three days away from the State Visit of Her Majesty The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. Excitement is rising in the Embassy as we approach it. Why is this visit going to be so special? First of all, because the Queen stands for so much in the relationship between Britain and France.

Commemorating D-Day: the past and the future

The 70th anniversary of the Normandy Landings

Next week, we will be commemorating the 70th anniversary of the D-Day Landings in Normandy, and, for the UK, we have the honour of Her Majesty The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh in Normandy for 6 June, joined by HRH The Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, and briefly His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, and the Duchess of Cambridge. They will be going to … Read more »Commemorating D-Day: the past and the future

Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict – the view from Paris

End Sexual Violence in Conflict - #TimeToAct

For far too long, rape and sexual violence has been used as a weapon of war, particularly against women. It makes conflict worse, it prolongs the effects of conflict, and it makes reconciliation far more difficult. Two years ago my Foreign Secretary William Hague, working with Angelina Jolie, who is the UN Special Envoy on these issues, decided to mobilise world opinion against this terrible practice.