Opening of Parliament
An ambassador's Audience with The Queen is a
formal ceremony in which a newly-appointed foreign ambassador presents his or
her Letters of Credence to Her Majesty. Ambassadorial Audiences take place at
Buckingham Palace as soon as possible after an ambassador's arrival in London.
For the Audience, the ambassador is collected from the embassy or residence by a
state landau from the Royal Mews; s/he is escorted by the Marshal of the
Diplomatic Corps, based at St James's Palace. The ambassador's suite follows in
state landaus. During the 20 minute Audience, the ambassador presents his or her
Letters of Credence and his suite is presented to The Queen. The ambassador's
party then returns to the embassy or residence by carriage.
There are currently 172 foreign missions,
accredited to the Court of St James's in London (St. James's Palace is still the
senior palace and official residence of the Sovereign). The Diplomatic Corps has
expanded rapidly in recent years. In 1886 there were only six ambassadors in
London, with 37 other countries represented by ministers. For a list of current
foreign and Commonwealth missions in London visit the Foreign & Commonwealth
Office web site.