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2017 December/ 2018 January

DIPLOMAT IS CELEBRATING its 70th birthday! The publication was created in a different world for a different diplomatic corps that comprised less than 50 countries. In 1947, a formidable woman named Betty Millan and a Romanian journalist called Remy Hefter started a magazine for London’s diplomats accredited to the Court of St James’s. It contained 24 pages and just one advert. Known as The Diplomatist, subscriptions were two guineas (£2.10). The finances in the early days of Diplomat were a murky issue; it is believed that MI6 helped out in return for what it called ‘low level intelligence’ from the editor.

Legend has it that Betty even helped police track down Carlos the Jackal, at the time one of the world’s most wanted criminals, who she recognised when he turned up at the offices to buy photographs.

So, in this anniversary issue of Diplomat we look back to the global state of diplomacy in 1947. Despite the Allies’ victory two years prior, it was an uncertain world, and the West was preoccupied with an economic crisis and the threat of communism. But how much has really changed?

I’ve been involved with Diplomat for the past 10 years and I am proud of what we’ve achieved. We’ve published over 110 magazines, launched the annual Diplomat magazine Awards (2018 will be its tenth year) and published country reports with over 30 different governments. If you’d like to work with us, please do drop me an email and I can explain more.

As always, in this issue Diplomat reviews the credentials of new heads of mission to the Court of St James’s, this month meeting the Ambassadors of Democratic Republic of Congo, Estonia and the Holy See, along with the High Commissioner for Ghana.

In the lifestyle section, Diplomat is one of the first to experience the newly renovated Royal Lancaster Hotel, and enjoys a delicious taste of rural France at Belgravia institution, La Poule au Pot. BMW have set themselves ten long-term sustainability targets that contribute to UN Sustainable Development Goals, so we are thrilled to highlight their work with the Ambassador of Kosovo test-driving the new plug-in hybrid BMW 7 series. Readers with a taste for culture will find valuable advice in our book and arts reviews, including the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, and Skate with Fortnum & Mason in the stunning surroundings of Somerset House.

Finally, I always want to hear from you, our readers, on article suggestions, new appointments, local news and other embassy events that you would like covered. Please contact me on vvk@diplomatmagazine.com

Venetia de Blocq van Kuffeler

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