British Embassy, Washington

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Embassy of the United Kingdom
in Washington, D.C.

British Embassy, Washington.png
Embassy of the United Kingdom in Washington, D.C..jpg

Coordinates 38°55′11″N 77°03′40″W / 38.91972°N 77.06111°W / 38.91972; -77.06111
Location Washington, D.C.
Address 3100 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Ambassador Sir Peter Westmacott
Website Office website

British Embassy, Washington is the United Kingdom's diplomatic mission to the United States. It is located at 3100 Massachusetts Avenue, NW in Washington, D.C.

Consulates[edit]

The embassy also operates Consulates General in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, and San Francisco as well as a UK Government Office in Seattle.

Area[edit]

The Embassy building
British Ambassador's Residence

The embassy is situated in a compound that is home to both the ambassador's residence and the old and new chanceries. The residence was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens to resemble an English country manor, with the old chancery facing the street. By the 1950s, the old chancery was deemed too cramped, and the new chancery, designed by chief architect Eric Bedford, was constructed from 1955–1961, with Queen Elizabeth II laying the foundation stone on 19 October 1957.[1] Part of the old chancery was converted into staff quarters, and the rest is currently occupied by the offices of the British Council. The British government was the first nation to build an embassy in the area that would later become known as Embassy Row.

Winston Churchill, 1966 by William McVey

Outside the British ambassador's residence stands a statue of Winston Churchill. One of the statue's feet is inside the marked embassy grounds; the other is within the District of Columbia. The embassy's website states that this symbolizes Churchill's Anglo-American parentage (his father was British, his mother American) and his status as an honorary citizen of the United States.[2]

The gardens of the ambassador's residence were planted by Elizabeth Sherman Lindsay. Lady Lindsay was a landscape gardener and wife of lifelong British diplomat Sir Ronald Charles Lindsay.[3]

Like all the embassies of all other European Union member-states, the flag of the European Union flies alongside the national flag. The British Embassy is notable for having the European flag flying lower, rather than at the same level, as the Union Flag.[citation needed]

Staff[edit]

The embassy is one of the largest in Washington, employing 210 diplomats and approx 250 additional staffers. The current ambassador as of January 2012 is Sir Peter Westmacott.

Events[edit]

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh with President Ford at the British Embassy in July 1977

On June 8, 1939, the Embassy, hosted by Ambassador Ronald Lindsay, held a garden party for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the first time that reigning British monarchs had visited the United States.[4]

On February 11, 1964, a reception was held there for the Beatles, who had played their first concert in America earlier that day at the Washington Coliseum.[5]

On July 7, 2005, the United States Army Band played "God Save the Queen" outside the embassy in remembrance of the victims of the 7 July 2005 London bombings. This mirrored the British remembrance service to the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks when "The Star-Spangled Banner" was played outside Buckingham Palace. [6]

Film depiction[edit]

The embassy was depicted in fiction in the 2006 BBC Television miniseries The State Within.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ A History of the Gardens of the Ambassador's Residence, British Embassy, Washington
  2. ^ CHURCHILL, Winston: Statue at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C. by William McVey located in James M. Goode's Massachusetts Avenue area. Dcmemorials.com. Retrieved on 2013-08-24.
  3. ^ ames, Olivia, editor. The letters of Elizabeth Sherman Lindsay, 1911–1954 New York: Privately Printed, 1960
  4. ^ http://washingtonembassygardens.wordpress.com/2014/02/09/the-royal-garden-party/ The Royal Garden Party: A History of the Gardens of the Ambassador's Residence, British Embassy, Washington. Retrieved on 2014-02-09.
  5. ^ John Lennon Interview: British Embassy, Washington D.C. 2/11/1964 – Beatles Interviews Database. Beatlesinterviews.org (1964-02-11). Retrieved on 2013-08-24.
  6. ^ CNN.com – Transcripts. Transcripts.cnn.com (2005-07-08). Retrieved on 2013-08-24.

External links[edit]