Peter Westmacott

Former Ambassador to the United States of America

Part of UK in USA

17th May 2012 Washington DC, USA

A GREAT Embassy Open House

It isn’t every day that you walk out of your house to find 10,000 people on your lawn. But on Saturday, for EU Embassy Open House day, that is what happened to me.

From the time gates opened at 10:00—with quite a queue already formed—until they closed at 4:00, a steady stream of visitors turned the grounds of the Embassy and the Ambassador’s Residence into a buzzing hub of activity. There were Rolls Royce, Bentley and Jaguar automobiles on display; a putting green to celebrate Northern Ireland hosting the Irish Open next month; cricket and football displays; even roving thespians bringing Shakespeare into the crowd. (No donkey’s heads, so I guess they weren’t doing Midsummer Night’s Dream.) Our cake auction raised $850 in support of Help for Heroes—a British charity similar to Wounded Warriors here in the US. With the amazing weather,  free Scotch whisky tastings, a “Buckingham Palace” photo booth, and a tour of what I firmly believe to be one of the finest gardens in DC, it’s no wonder the day turned out to be such a success.

All our booths and displays linked to the many exciting events taking place in the UK this year. At the Diamond Jubilee tent, literally thousands of visitors signed a banner congratulating Her Majesty The Queen on the sixtieth year of her accession. There were life-size pictures of Queen Elizabeth with American presidents going back to Harry Truman. And of course plenty of emphasis on the London Olympics that start in July, with our friends from the US Olympic Committee also manning a stand.

We are glad that our best Open House day yet came in 2012—a great year for the United Kingdom. Come back next year, and if you want one of our famous bags, come early!

Drawing the winning name in the cake raffle in support of Help for Heroes

View more photos in our Flickr gallery ›

About Peter Westmacott

Sir Peter Westmacott, KCMG, LVO was the British Ambassador to the United States from January 2012 to January 2016. He was born in the village of Edington, Somerset in the…

Sir Peter Westmacott, KCMG, LVO was the British Ambassador to the United States from January 2012 to January 2016.

He was born in the village of Edington, Somerset in the South West of
England in December 1950. He was educated at New College Oxford and
joined the Diplomatic Service in 1972.

After a year in the Middle East Department, and Persian language
training, Ambassador Westmacott was posted to Tehran in 1974. In 1978 he
was loaned to the European Commission in Brussels, before being posted
to Paris from 1980 to 1984.
After 3 years as Chief of Staff to successive Ministers of State in
London, he went to Ankara in 1987, for the first of his two diplomatic
postings to Turkey.
From 1990 to 1993, he was Deputy Private Secretary to HRH The Prince of Wales.
From 1993 to 1997, Ambassador Westmacott was Counsellor for Political
and Public Affairs in Washington, before returning to the Foreign and
Commonwealth Office as Director, Americas.
He joined the Board of the FCO in 2000 as Deputy Under Secretary and returned to Ankara as Ambassador in 2002.
In 2007 he moved to Paris where he served as Ambassador to France until the end of 2011.
Peter married Susie Nemazee in 2001. Between them they have four grown children, Oliver, Laura, Rupert and Safieh.