FCDO Historians

18th April 2021 London, UK

Dr Richard Smith

by Dr Richard Smith

FCDO Principal Historian

FCDO Historians explain the Duke of Edinburgh’s unique contribution to international affairs

Photo of Her Majesty the Queen and HRH Prince Philip on her Silver Jubilee tour in New Zealand in 1977.

His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh was one of the world’s most travelled men. As well as accompanying Her Majesty The Queen on all of her official overseas visits, he made over 620 solo visits to 143 countries on behalf of Britain, the Commonwealth and the many causes he supported. Prince Philip travelled to […]

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2nd March 2021 London, UK

Gill Bennett

by Gill Bennett

FCDO Historian

Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev: a view from the Foreign Office archives

Mikhail Gorbachev and Margaret Thatcher

Marking the 90th birthday of former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, Gill Bennett recalls how the late Tony Bishop, FCO Russian specialist, recorded Gorbachev’s first talks with Margaret Thatcher, when he acted as interpreter. ‘For heaven’s sake, try and find me a young Russian!’ This, according to Tony Bishop, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) principal […]

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23rd October 2020 London, UK

Dr Richard Smith

by Dr Richard Smith

FCDO Principal Historian

The Foreign Office and the creation of the UN

Pub quiz question: where was the first meeting of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly held? Answer: London, in the Methodist Central Hall on 10 January 1946. London features heavily in early UN history. The Security Council met for the first time in Church House, Westminster, the following week. Church House was also the location for […]

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26th January 2018 London, UK

Tara Finn

by Tara Finn

FCO Historian

Bending the rules to save souls

“And so we must know these good people who helped Jews during the Holocaust. We must learn from them, and in gratitude and hope, we must remember them.” Elie Wiesel You may have heard of Nicholas Winton, the stockbroker who organised the Kindertransport and saved 669 Jewish children from Czechoslovakia. Or Frank Foley, the Secret Intelligence […]

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