Interpreting Diplomacy, Part 2

  • Interpreting Diplomacy, Part 2

    Interpreting Diplomacy, Part 2

    So the three-day visit passed according to the plan. On the first day there was a ceremonial welcome of Obamas in Buckingham Palace including meeting with Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and lunch with the Queen. Then meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron, Labour Party leader Ed Miliband and finally – state banquet. The second day was more ‘political’ in nature and included talks and barbecue at 10 Downing Street as well as address to both houses of parliament. The schedule above gives you more details of how the visit looked like:

    Visit schedule

    24 May 2011

    Midday: Obama visits Buckingham Palace, meeting William and Kate, Charles and Camilla, and the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh.

    Lunch with the Queen.

    2pm: The Queen will take the Obamas to view Buckingham Palace’s American art in the royal picture gallery.

    3pm: Wreath-laying for the unknown warrior at Wesminster Abbey.

    3.45pm: Arrival in Downing Street for meeting with David Cameron.

    5pm: Obama meets Ed Miliband at Buckingham Palace.

    5.30pm: Anti-war protest planned outside Buckingham Palace.

    8.30pm: State banquet.


    25 May 2011

    • Talks between Obama and Cameron at 10 Downing Street.

    • Obama address to both houses of parliament.

    • Barbecue at No 10 hosted by Michelle Obama and Samantha Cameron for families of military personnel.

    • Dinner at Winfield House.



    Obama’s working visit to Poland was the last stop during his six-day trip of to Europe. This visit was much shorter and planned in every minute.

    The US president landed in Poland on Friday, 27th May 2011 at about 5:50 pm and soon after his arrival he participated in wreath-laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, visited the Warsaw Ghetto Memorial and met with the leaders of Central and Eastern European countries on the occasion of the 17th Central and Eastern European summit in Warsaw devoted to democratic changes in this region. Next day was as busy for Obama as the first one as the US president held bilateral talks with the Polish president Bronisław Komorowski, met with the ‘Polish democracy’ leaders and ate breakfast with Donald Tusk, Polish Prime Minister. And here is more detailed schedule of the working visit in Poland:

    1st day

    6:20 pm – wreath-laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

    6: 45 pm – wreath-laying at the Warsaw Ghetto Memorial

    7:40 pm – dinner on the occasion of the 17th Central and Eastern European summit at the Presidential Palace


    2nd day – official welcome of the US president

    10:25 am – official ceremony

    10:40 am – bilateral talks of both presidents

    11:25 am – press conference

    11:45 am – meeting with Polish democracy activists

    12:35 pm – working breakfast with the Prime Minister Donald Tusk

    02:00 pm – conference in the Chancellery of the Prime Minister

    02:55 pm – flower-laying at the memorial plaque commemorating the victims of the presidential plane crash at Smolensk in 2010


    The importance of all diplomatic visits is huge. Their main aim is to improve bilateral relations, discuss existing issues and even strengthen country’s position on the international scene. Some can say: But what are these ceremonies for, why don’t we just get into business? Well, as Janusz Sibora, PhD and the expert in Polish diplomatic protocol, always says – ‘nothing in diplomacy happens without a reason’. So every gesture, word and color matters – even simple (friendly – in your opinion) approach toward another person can be perceived as rude. For example, when the US first lady Michelle Obama embraced the Queen Eliabeth II it was perceived as faux pas in terms of the diplomatic protocol as the queen should not be touched by anybody.


    Image: May 23, 2011 – Source: WPA Pool/Getty Images Europe)

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    Hanna Gembus

    Hanna Gembus is a professional Polish English and Polish German translator and communication specialist based in the United Kingdom providing translation, content, interpreting and market research services to small, medium-sized and large companies and organisations. She specialises in business, marketing and e-commerce, using linguistic and cultural knowledge to help both start-ups and established companies improve their presence on the market and increase sales.

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