Peter Ricketts » Ambassador to France

75 years ago: the evacuation of Dunkirk

Evacuation de Dunkerque, mai-juin 1940

This week end we are going to be commemorating the 75th anniversary of the evacuation of Dunkirk, one of those extraordinary iconic events of the Second World War.

The modern diplomat

DHM Kara Owen with ENA group, April 2015

In this guest blog, Deputy Head of Mission Kara Owen discusses what it is to be a modern diplomat, after a talk at the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA) in Paris.

Climate: Franco-British collaboration for a low carbon future

Hinkley Point C

I had the opportunity to open a conference of the nuclear energy industry between Britain and France, looking at a low carbon future. It made me think about the way these two hugely important issues come together. How do we ensure a low carbon future for the planet and keep global warming under control and how do we ensure energy for all at affordable prices.

The Global Law Summit and the legacy of the Magna Carta

Global Law Summit 2015

This year of 2015, we celebrate the 800th anniversary of one of the founding documents of English law, the Magna Carta. This was agreed between King John and his rebel barons in 1215. And actually one of the prominent barons at that time was Prince Louis, who went on to be King Louis VIII of 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.


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.