L’hôtel de Charost, the British Embassy in Paris, 
39  rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré
In August, 1814, after the first defeat of Napoleon and his exile to Elba, the Duke of Wellington purchased l’hôtel de Charost to be the British Embassy in Paris. Before that, representatives of the British crown had used various rented facilities.  This year, the Embassy celebrates 200 years at the site, scene of numerous receptions, dinners, and other official events through the years of peace and friendship between France and Great Britain.
Canova: Pauline Borghese, the Borghese Palace, Rome
The building was purchased from Napoleon’s sister, Pauline Buonaparte Borghese, wife of Camillo Borghese, 6th Prince of Sulmona. A replica of the renowned sculpture stands in the British Embassy.  Pauline (1780-1825) was beautiful, charming, and unscrupulous.  She was first married to one of Napoleon’s generals, and after his death, to Prince Borghese.  For more about Pauline, go to Elizabeth Kerri Mahon’s blog here.
The Replica
Mr. Quintin Crawford, a British resident in Paris, assisted in the purchase, according to the 1983 book by Raymond A. Jones, The British Diplomatic Service 1815-1914. Crawford (1748-1814) was born in Scotland; he was a businessman, collector, author and translator.

This year the British Embassy in Paris is celebrating its purchase by the newly appointed Ambassador in 1814, the 1st Duke of Wellington.

Like so many Paris buildings, inside the rather forbidding street entrance (top picture) there is a lovely courtyard and the handsome formal entrance.
The Queen arrives on her recent State Visit to France
Interior Façade

The building was erected in 1722-25, designed by architect Antoine Mazin, (c1679-1725). The first owner was the duc de Charost.  In 1803, Pauline, the sister of Napoleon and later Princess Borghese, purchased the house.  She was known to hold popular salons, almost subsidiary courts, there.

Entrance Hall

The Queen signs in, 2014!

She is well guarded
The Bleu Salon
The Red Room
Note the portrait of the aged Duke of Wellington on the wall
Salon Pauline
A 2012 Reception at the Embassy
The Garden reaches almost to the Champs Élysées;
it is often the scene of receptions
The Queen among the roses
Two views of the Dining Salon, above and below.

Impressive chandeliers, above and below.
Happy 200th Birthday, British Embassy in Paris!
Well done, Ambassador Wellington.


  1. Beautiful photos. I'd love to see the embassy some day. I've only been in Paris once, and for a few days only. Besides the shortness of the stay, I was sick the whole time. I need to go back under better circumstances and stay longer! Thanks for posting this!

  2. Thanks, ladies…I hope to see the British Embassy in Paris next month, but I assume it is not open to the public except on Open House weekends in September. Now when the Queen visits, and at other times when they have a reception, one might get invited…but I assume you'd need better contacts than I have!! cheers, Vicky

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