The Queen is back to work just days after returning to London from her Christmas break in Sandringham.
On Thursday, The Queen held audiences with newly-appointed Ambassadors to the Court of St James’s.
Among her guests were His Excellency Mr Abderrahmane Benguerrah, Ambassador from the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria.
His Excellency Mr Adrei Kelin, Ambassador from the Russian Federation was also present.
Audiences are a regular part of The Queen’s working week. An audience is known as a simple one-to-one meeting with Her Majesty. A majority of Audiences are for members of the diplomatic community. Although political, religious and military leaders are also welcome. As well as those who have won prestigious cultural prizes.
Audiences generally last approximately 20 minutes. Conversations are entirely private and no written transcript or recording is made.
At any given time in London, there are more than 170 Ambassadors and High Commissioners based in the are. Each of them will have an Audience with The Queen shortly before they take their role.
High Commissioners and Ambassadors have identical roles. Both roles represent the interests of their country in the UK by building diplomatic ties. As far as differences go, the title indicates their country’s relationship to The Commonwealth.
High Commissioners come from Commonwealth countries and Ambassadors do not.
Diplomatic Audiences date back to Victorian times and have since, hardly changed. The occasion calls for some unique Royal touches. Diplomats are collected from their Embassy or residence in a State Landau. A ceremonial horse-drawn carriage. They then travel through the streets of London, led by a second carriage in which the Marshal of the Diplomatic Corps travels in.
Often times, The Ambassador or High Commissioner brings members of their family to the special occasion.
Audiences generally take place in State or semi-State rooms at Buckingham Palace or, in The Queen’s private apartments.