Ambassador Teferi presents his Letters of Credence to Her Majesty The Queen

26 May 2021

On 25th May, His Excellency Ambassador Teferi Melesse Desta was invited to Buckingham Palace by Her Majesty The Queen to formally presented his credentials confirming his appointment as Ethiopian Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s.

Credentials, also known as “Letters of Credence”, refer to the formal documentation accrediting an Ambassador as head of a diplomatic mission.

On the day of the ceremony, steeped in tradition and royal pageantry which has remained almost unchanged since the Victorian era, Ambassador Teferi was escorted to Buckingham Palace by Her Majesty’s Vice-Marshal of the Diplomatic Corps, Victoria Busby, in a State Landau – a ceremonial horse-drawn carriage.

On arrival at Buckingham Palace, the Ambassador was escorted to the Equerries Room for the presentation of his credentials and an Audience – a one-to-one meeting – with Her Majesty The Queen. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Her Majesty The Queen joined by video link from the Oak Room at Windsor Castle, where she has been conducting diplomatic audiences virtually since December 2020.

During his audience with The Queen, Ambassador Teferi reiterated his commitment to strengthening the century-old bilateral ties between Ethiopia and the United Kingdom. In particular, the Ambassador vowed to ensure the continuation of the impactful development partnership between the two governments that has resulted, over the years, in a significant improvement to the lives of many Ethiopians. The Ambassador also touched upon working closely with the UK government to ensure the upcoming COP26 Climate Change conference is a success.

Her Majesty The Queen on her part spoke of the enduring relationship between Ethiopia and the United Kingdom and assured the Ambassador of her government’s support going forward. She also fondly recalled her visit to Ethiopia in the 1960s with her late husband, His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, where she was warmly welcomed by Emperor Haileselassie. She especially noted the spectacular landscape views of the Rift Valley.

Following the credentials ceremony, the Ambassador was escorted back to the Embassy by the  Marshall of the Diplomatic Corps, Alistair Harrison CMS CVO, where he was welcomed by diplomats and staff for a vin d’honneur.

On the occasion, the Ambassador said:

 It is a great moment for me to officially start my duty here in the United Kingdom. I look forward to building on the good work of my predecessors enhancing our bilateral relations with the UK and enriching the social and cultural ties between our two peoples. And with your cooperation, with your help, and with the help of the UK government I hope our relations will flourish in the coming months and years.

Echoing the Ambassador’s sentiments, H.E. Alistair Harrison CMS CVO said:

The Queen greatly values the relationship between the United Kingdom and Ethiopia. Our relations are very longstanding. [Ethiopia] was the first country in Africa to open an Embassy here in London and we have been friends not just for decades but for many years before that. And our friendship will endure because of the very strong links between our peoples. We know your time in London will be a great success as you will be building on a very long tradition of friendship. Thank you to everybody who has contributed to such an excellent lunch to mark this very auspicious occasion in the history of the United Kingdom and Ethiopia.

…first African diplomatic mission in London

The ceremony coincided with Africa Day, the annual commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity on 25th May 1963 in Addis Ababa by 32 African states, with the main aim of bringing African nations together and resolve issues within the continent. Headquartered in Addis Ababa – the diplomatic capital of Africa – the African Union now has 55 member states.

As the first African country to establish an embassy in London, Ethiopia and the United Kingdom have enjoyed rich diplomatic relations covering a range of areas, including, but not limited to, trade and investment, culture, education, and development cooperation. Great Britain was also among the first few countries to open an embassy in Addis Ababa well over a century ago.

Ethiopia’s relationship with the UK today continues to be among the most dependable, mature, and mutually beneficial of any that it has with other countries.



Ambassador Teferi Melesse assumed his post in London in September 2020.

He joined the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1993 and as a career diplomat, has served at diplomatic missions in Guangzhou, Brussels, Harare, and in Geneva, as well as at various posts within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

For further information, please contact the Press Office at

A video of the day’s proceedings will be available on our YouTube page shortly: 



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