Mission London: A Mini Handbook of Diplomatic Practice

4.50   (6 гласа)
try to find out if and how facts, descriptions

and findings in the book go along with rules from basic

diplomatic references.


Protocol and diplomatic events


The text starts already with an unusual breach of the diplomatic


The new Ambassador arrives to his posting two days before

the announced arrival. So we do not learn how he was expected

by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Protocol at the

Airport. But we learn that he arrived to the Embassy with a taxi

that was just leaving when the Embassy’s cook opened the door

to the newcomer: “Behind him, a black-cab was executing complicated

manoeuvres to get out of the narrow little street.” (Popov,

2014, 8). The description of the street tells us i.a. that the Embassy

was not on a particularly prominent location. Of course, it’s

location that counts in diplomatic business, in diplomatic center

like London in particular.

The person who was a “tall, gloomy gentleman, wearing a

greenish raincoat, suitcase in hand, jutted from the doorstep”

(ibid) and was received by the cook’s question in Bulgarian when

opening the door: “Who are you looking for?” (ibid) The stranger

didn’t allow himself to be disturbed: “I am the new Ambassador,”

he said, gazing at the bare feet (of the cook – M.J.). “And who

are you?” (ibid) One could rather easily imagine what everything

that fact meant and caused for the easygoing, uninterested at-

mosphere at the Residence and at the Embassy, where everybody

was sure that the new boss is arriving not before than in two days.

Diplomatic rules foresee the notification of arrival of not only

the new Ambassador: “The head of the mission should, where

possible, advise the Protocol Department of the Ministry of Foreign

Affairs well in advance of the date, place and time of the intended

arrival or final departure of any member of the staff of the

mission or of their families.” (Feltham, 1994, 24). Why? The FCO

(and any other Foreign Ministry) has to be informed with these

facts to have the knowledge of the diplomats that serve in the receiving

state. And this info is of special importance regarding the

arrival of a new Ambassador: “On arrival at his post to take up

his duties, a head of mission will be met by the Chief of Protocol

(or his deputy).” (ibid) We do not know why H.E. Dimitrov

skipped these honours, but in any case for a novel that is a good

start that offers a joyful reading.

The most important duty of the new Ambassador is the presentation

of credentials to the Head of State (Veljić, 2008,139-141).

After this ceremony the Ambassador is enabled to carry out his/

her duties in full terms. However nowadays the act of presenting


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