Peter W.S.Y. Scarlett

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Sir Peter William Shelley Yorke Scarlett KCMG KCVO (30 March 1905 – 28 December 1987) was a British diplomat who was ambassador to Norway and to the Holy See.


Peter Scarlett was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford. He entered the Foreign Office in 1929 and served in Cairo, Baghdad and Lisbon. He acted as Chargé d’Affaires in Riga 1937–38 and was attached to the representative of Latvia at the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1937. He served in Brussels from 1938 to 1940 when he was captured by enemy forces but, as a diplomat, was returned to the UK where he resumed duties at the Foreign Office until 1944 when he was appointed to the embassy in Paris under Sir Alfred Duff Cooper. In 1946 he moved to Allied Forces Headquarters at Caserta, southern Italy, then was Counsellor at the Foreign Office 1947–50 and Inspector of HM Diplomatic Service Establishments 1950–52.

Scarlett was British Permanent Representative on the Council of Europe, Strasbourg, 1952–55; HM Ambassador to Norway 1955–60;[1] and finally Minister to the Holy See 1960–65.[2] He retired from the Diplomatic Service in 1965 and was Chairman of the Church of England’s Cathedrals Advisory Committee 1967–81.

Scarlett was appointed CMG in the New Year Honours of 1949,[3] knighted KCVO in 1955[4] and KCMG in the Queen's Birthday Honours of 1958.[5]


Peter Scarlett's wife Elisabeth was daughter of Major Sir John Birchall, MP.

See also[edit]


SCARLETT, Sir Peter (William Shelley Yorke), Who Was Who, A & C Black, 1920–2008; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007, accessed 18 Feb 2012

  1. ^ "No. 40438". The London Gazette (Supplement). 25 March 1955. p. 1780. 
  2. ^ "No. 42346". The London Gazette. 5 May 1961. p. 3340. 
  3. ^ "No. 38493". The London Gazette (Supplement). January 1949. p. 5. 
  4. ^ "No. 40543". The London Gazette. 22 July 1955. p. 4233. 
  5. ^ "No. 41404". The London Gazette (Supplement). 12 June 1958. p. 3515. 
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Sir Michael Wright
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary in Oslo
1955 – 1960
Succeeded by
Sir John Walker
Preceded by
Sir Marcus Cheke
Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary at the Holy See
1960 – 1965
Succeeded by
Sir Michael Williams