I WRITE THIS on Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday. Whether it be a street party or a formal diplomatic affair, celebrations for this momentous occasion will continue across the globe throughout 2016. In Europe, we shall shortly be recognising another significant anniversary: 100 years since the Battle of the Somme, admittedly a rather more sombre affair. Rupert Shrive’s cover art is beautifully symbolic of Michael Binyon’s moving account ahead of the commemorations taking place in July. As the author explains, not only will this be an occasion to remember the past, but also one in which European leaders can discuss topical matters, most notably the future of the EU and the mass influx of migrants.
Be it at lectures, dinners, award ceremonies or cocktail parties, Europe, the EU and the UK’s position within the EU continues to dominate discussions on London’s diplomatic circuit. Long-time Diplomat contributor Charles Crawford asks whether Brexit is a crazy leap into the dark or a confident stride into the light. Furthermore, we have a contribution from the Ambassador of the Dominican Republic who writes a heartfelt account of the potential consequences of a Brexit for his country and region. Like many other heads of mission, he cannot be sure of the ramifications of Brexit for his country, but is keen for the UK to stay part of the European family.
The issue is packed with other topical articles, including one by the Ambassador of Belarus, marking 30 years since the largest man-made disaster of the twentieth century: Chernobyl. Last month, we were also delighted to announce the winner of the inaugural Diplomat magazine Scholarship to join Loughborough University London’s Academy of Diplomacy and Inter-national Governance for an MSc programme in Diplomacy, Statecraft and Foreign Policy for a year: Senen T. Mangalile, Deputy Chief of Mission and Consul General at the Embassy of the Philippines. Following interviews with diplomats studying at the Academy, we have also included some further information on the institution.
As always, Diplomat reviews the Credentials of new heads of mission to the Court of St James’s, this month meeting with the Ambassador of Senegal, along with the High Commissioners for Grenada, the Maldives and Mauritius.
In the lifestyle section, Diplomat experiences the magnificent splendour of The Langham, London’s Sterling Suite, and dinner at chef Greg Marchand’s London outpost, Frenchie, Covent Garden. Readers with a taste for culture will find valuable advice in our book and arts reviews, including Photo London at Somerset House and Massimo Vitali’s ‘Beach and Leisure Scenes’ at the Ronchini Gallery.
On 11 April, we hosted the Tata Diplomat magazine Awards Ceremony in the Ballroom of The Langham, London. As we have done annually for the past eight years, we handed out ten awards to the leading figures in London’s diplomatic community. These are awards for diplomats, nominated by diplomats. More on that in the next issue…