THE FRENCH AMBASSADOR – the unique succession

On Friday 24th November 2017 Sir Julian King KCVO CMG (OV 1975-1982) was the guest of honour at the Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School Speech Day. By his own admission it was the first time that Sir Julian had revisited the School since leaving. He was proudly accompanied by his father who still lives in Lichfield

Amongst an impressive series of diplomatic appointments, in an illustrious career to date, is Sir Julian’s appointment as Ambassador to France in 2016. This appointment is notable for two reasons:-
 
  1. It was probably the shortest term an Ambassador to France has served – 7 months approximately, BUT
  2. It is unique in that Sir Julian succeeded Sir Peter Ricketts, now Lord Ricketts GCMG GCVO, (OV 1964-1971) 

Yes that is right! An Old Veseyan succeeds and Old Veseyan in what is considered to be the most prestigious diplomatic ambassadorial role.

It should perhaps be made clear that Sir Julian’s short tenure at the British Embassy in France was as a result of the surprise resignation of Jonathan Hill as British European Commissioner and European Commissioner for Financial Stability following the Brexit referendum. The then Prime Minister, David Cameron, nominated Sir Julian to take on the role of British European Commissioner and he was approved in that role together with a new European portfolio of Security Union on 19th September 2016.

The current British Ambassador to France is not an Old Veseyan but an Old Etonian!