Giles Paxman, presents his credentials to King Juan Carlos

British Ambassador, Giles Paxman, presents his credentials to King Juan Carlos

On Monday, British Ambassador to Spain, Giles Paxman LVO, took part in the traditional ceremony of the Presentation of Ambassadorial Credentials to His Majesty King Juan Carlos I at the Royal Palace in Madrid.


Mr Paxman began his career in the Department of the Environment before transferring to the Diplomatic Service, where he has spent much of his career studying European affairs, although he retains a close interest in environmental issues.


In 1978 he took up his first posting to Paris on secondment to the École Nationale d’Administration. Between 1980 and 1984, Mr Paxman worked at the UK Representation to the EU (UKRep) before returning to London where he went on to serve in the European Community Department and to lead the Iberia team in the Foreign Office’s Southern Europe Department.


This was followed by a 4-year posting to Singapore, then two years working for the Cabinet Office before returning to Europe. The next ten years were spent in Rome, Brussels and Paris, where he served as Deputy Head of Mission before becoming Ambassador to Mexico, his last post before arriving in Spain.


On taking up his appointment the Ambassador said:


"I am incredibly honoured to be appointed as the British Ambassador to Spain. Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed my work in Mexico, Europe has a special appeal for me, and for my wife Ségolène, and Ambassador to Spain is without a doubt one of the best jobs in the Foreign Office.


“The relationship between Spain and Britain goes back 500 years, over which time we have built up close commercial, political and cultural ties. But whilst we have an excellent past, it’s the future we are all looking to, starting with Spain’s presidency of the European Union Council of Ministers.


“It’s a new Europe thanks to the Treaty of Lisbon, and economic recovery and the follow-on from Copenhagen’s Climate Change Conference are at the top of the agenda. These are exciting times and I look forward tremendously to working with my counterparts in Spain during the months and years to come.”

Giles was born in 1951 and studied at Oxford University. He speaks fluent Spanish and French (and rusty Italian) and is married with three daughters.

High resolution photos of the ceremony can be found at

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