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Consular news – Embassy 5 – February 2008

Consuls of the future

Will consuls be specialists in the embassies of the future? This was one of the questions posed at February's Consular Corps luncheon at which Marshal of the Diplomatic Corps, Sir Anthony Figgis, was guest speaker.

While many foreign ministries still combine both non-consular and consular work, it was suggested that the increasing technical nature of their work would inevitably require a specialised consular corps.

Sir Anthony, also outlined his work as Marshal, bringing along with him his antique chain of office with double-sided pendent – one with an olive branch; the other with a sword. Apparently, if the sword is facing front it means Britain is at war with the country represented by the Ambassador. The only problem is, the pendant has a habit of flipping on the sword side, leading to a few raised eyebrows from the Monarch!

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