Presentation of HM Ambassador Paul Brummell’s Book

Thursday, September 29, 2022 - 17:30

On 29 September the British Ambassador Mr Paul Brummell and Mrs Adriana Ivama Brummell kindly welcomed BritCham members at the British Ambassador’s Residence for a talk based on Paul’s recent book “Diplomatic Gifts: A History in Fifty Presents”.

Mr Brummell gave an engaging presentation on the main themes of the book and shared some stories on the most memorable gifts, their histories and what happened to the items afterwards. When the time for questions came, our members had many. The interesting topic and amiable setting inspiring enquiries regarding the diplomatic gifts in general as well as the Ambassador’s personal experience. Afterwards the guests had the opportunity to mingle and enjoy the pleasant company and atmosphere at the Residence.

We would like to thank the Ambassador Mr Paul Brummell and Mrs Adriana Ivama Brummell for the invitation and for the lovely evening!

Photos from the event are available here.

More about “Diplomatic Gifts: A History in Fifty Presents”: gifts have been part of international relations since ancient times. They can serve as tokens of friendship, apology or authority; as taunts, bribes, boasts or tricks. Exploring fifty diplomatic gifts given through the ages, Mr Brummell explains the great complexity of this political art – an exercise in brand-building for the giver, via an item that must suit the recipient’s own interests and character. From the Trojan Horse to Cleopatra’s Needle to the Statue of Liberty, this rich history offers a new take on both the curious detail and the grand spectacle of global politics.

‘We’ve all wrestled with the problem of what to give someone who has everything. In this book, my dear friend Paul illustrates how diplomatic gifts are intended to send subtle or sometimes not-so-subtle messages of power, friendship and, of course, diplomacy. A wonderful gift to all who enjoy exploring history, presented in a highly entertaining and informative way.’ — Baroness Floella Benjamin, actress, writer, presenter, and Chair of the Windrush Commemoration Committee

‘A gem of a book. Easy reading. Witty. A brilliantly told collection of fifty short stories that together reveal the complex history of global diplomacy.’ — Stevie Spring, CBE, Chairman, British Council