John Margetson

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Sir John Margetson KCMG (born 9 October 1927) is a former British Ambassador to Vietnam, the United Nations, and the Netherlands.

Early life[edit]

John William Denys Margetson is the younger son of the late Very Rev. William Margetson and Marion Jenoure. He was educated at Blundell's School and St John's College, Cambridge, where he was a choral scholar. From 1947–49 Margetson served his National Service with the Life Guards regiment of the Household Cavalry.

Diplomatic career[edit]

Following his period of National Service Margetson joined the Colonial Service and later the Diplomatic Service where he was speech writer to the Foreign Secretary, George Brown, 1966–68.

Margetson’s later career included appointments as British Ambassador to Vietnam 1978–80,[1] deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations (with rank of ambassador) 1983–84, and ambassador to the Netherlands 1984–88. He was appointed CMG in 1979[2] and knighted KCMG in 1986.[3]

Following his retirement from the Foreign Office, Margetson devoted himself to various charities and was chairman of the Royal School of Church Music 1988–94, of the Yehudi Menuhin School 1990–94, and of the joint committee that manages the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music 1991–94. He served as Gentleman Usher of the Blue Rod from 24 July 1992 – 25 October 2002.[4]


In 1963 Margetson married Miranda, daughter of Sir William Coldstream. They had a son and a daughter.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "No. 47596". The London Gazette. 20 July 1978. p. 8701. 
  2. ^ "No. 47723". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1978. p. 3. 
  3. ^ "No. 50551". The London Gazette (Supplement). 14 June 1986. p. 3. 
  4. ^ "No. 52999". The London Gazette. 24 July 1992. p. 12509. 

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Robert Tesh
Ambassador to Vietnam
Succeeded by
Derek Tonkin
Preceded by
Sir Philip Mansfield
Ambassador to The Netherlands
Succeeded by
Sir Michael Jenkins
Court offices
Preceded by
Sir John Moreton
Gentleman Usher of the Blue Rod
Succeeded by
Sir Anthony Figgis