In keeping with tradition and royal protocol, Ambassador Antonio Manuel Lagdameo formalized his assumption of the duties as envoy to the Court of St. James by presenting his credentials to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.
Lagdameo and his wife, Maria Linda, were received by the Queen in a private audience where they exchanged views on the long history of friendship and cooperation between the peoples of the Philippines and the United Kingdom.
The members of the ambassador’s retinue, Deputy Chief of Mission Gilberto Asuque, Consul General Senen Mangalile, Minister Myla Grace Ragenia Macahilig and First Secretary Kristine Leilanie Salle were presented to Her Majesty by Lagdameo.
As part of the royal pageantry surrounding the ceremony, the ambassador and his entourage were conveyed from his official residence in Belgravia to Buckingham Palace by Alistair Harrison, Marshal of the Diplomatic Corps, aboard two state landaus, or horse-drawn carriages, from the Royal Mews.
They were escorted by a royal limousine and mounted elements and motorcycle riders of the Metropolitan Police as they passed through the Palace gates, witnessed by throngs of people massed around the Queen Victoria Memorial.
After the Palace ceremony, Lagdameo hosted a vin d’honneur at Haymarket Hotel on Suffolk Place for officials of the UK government, members of Parliament, ambassadors and high commissioners of Asean and neighboring countries and select representatives of the business sector and the Filipino-British community.
Julian Evans, Vice Marshal of the Diplomatic Corps, offered a toast to President Rodrigo Duterte and recalled that Lagdameo has been through this ceremony before.
The ambassador has the rare privilege of having presented credentials to the Queen twice, having been assigned to London as ambassador from 2009 to 2010.
In his reply, Lagdameo offered a toast to Her Majesty and broadly outlined his plan to further enhance bilateral relations between the two countries.
“The Joint Plan of Action between the Philippines and the UK gives us a robust template for further deepening our political, economic and cultural relations, and we intend to harness that,” he said.