PP/GC/CA/127 Letter from Sir S.Canning to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, regarding the etiquette of his being admitted to the Spanish court, 16 February 1832
Letter from Sir Stratford Canning, [British minister on an extraordinary mission to Spain], Madrid, to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston: this letter is being sent with a courier of Monsieur de Rayneval, but there is not much more news since Canning last wrote. Addington is also writing to Palmerston, about an incident of etiquette at the Spanish court. Canning was at the Palace on the youngest Infanta's birthday and entered the camera with the French ambassador, who had arrived at the same time. While waiting there for the Queen to appear, he was told by the master of ceremonies, there known as the introducer of ambassadors, that "as a mere ambassador extraordinary, I had no business in the camera, Monsieur de Rayneval being admitted, not in that character, but as an ambassador de famille". Zea had told Canning that the Queen would allow him that day to present his assistant, Hammond, who was waiting in another room; so he obviously had no idea that he would be excluded. Canning could not remember the exact regulations under the 1815 convention but apologised for transgressing etiquette: he had innocently gone to the camera. Staying there would not create a precedent and so, with Zea's approval, he was not turned out of the room. When next in conversation with Zea, Canning was told that the King would admit him in future, "in consequence of his friendly feelings towards England and in testimony, as His Majesty had deigned to add, of consideration for my personal character". Canning showed Zea the relevant passage concerning recognition of ambassadors in the acts of the congress [of 1815], which had been signed by the Spanish ministers as well as by all the principal European powers, and Zea acknowledged it and kept it. Zea commented on the practice with regard to the court of Vienna. Under a reciprocal arrangement between the Austrian and Spanish courts, any Austrian official, minister and attache alike, is admitted into the Spanish camera, even into a room into which the rest of the diplomatic community in general is not allowed. Zea seemed to think that the Austrian position with the Spanish court was incongruous and should be stopped. Canning made no comment on this suggestion and thought that any new arrangement concerning the Spanish court should be a matter for Zea and Addington. 16 Feb 1833 The letter is marked: "Private".
Two papers, tied together with a blue ribbon.
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Sir Stratford Canning, later first Viscount Stratford de Redcliffe, British minister on an extraordinary mission to Spain
Portugal, Spain: succession to the throne, politics
Francois Maximilien Gerard, later Comte de Rayneval, French ambassador at Madrid
Edmund Hammond, later first Baron Hammond, diplomatic attache on Sir Stratford Canning's extraordinary mission to Spain
Francisco Zea Bermudez, Spanish Prime Minister
Maria Cristina, Queen of Spain
Infanta Isabella: Maria Isabella Louisa, later Isabella II, Queen of Spain 16/02/1833
Infanta Maria Louisa Ferdinanda, born 30 January 1832
Diplomatic practice, etiquette, protocol, diplomatic representation
Henry Unwin Addington, British envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary at Madrid
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