We were delighted to hear that OB Hugh Elliott (73-83) was appointed Her Majesty´s Ambassador to Spain and non-resident Ambassador to Andorra in August 2019. Prior to this, Hugh was Director for Communications and Stakeholders at the Department for Exiting the European Union.
On his arrival, Hugh said, “With a wealth of cultural, commercial, and people-to-people links, the relationship between the UK and Spain is like no other, and I am proud and honoured to represent my Queen and country here in Spain.”
Hugh’s connection with Spain started from a young age – his father, Tim Elliott (staff 66-87), was Master in charge of Spanish at the School. Remembering his time at Bedford, Hugh told us, “I took Spanish A-Level from scratch in the sixth form at Bedford – the only option available at the time. I was taught by my father, Tim Elliott, which must have been tricky for both of us. Still, some Spanish seems to have stuck – for which I express my thanks – and we are still talking! My most vivid memory, just 6 months into classes, is of being shown on TV the 1981 military coup attempt and King Juan Carlos’s historic televised speech which was so critical in ensuring its defeat. Presenting my credentials to his son was a very special moment.”
For Hugh, this strong connection with Spain has continued to be an important part of life. “I met my wife Toñi while working as an English teacher at the University of Salamanca. Spain was my first diplomatic posting in the nineties and my two children were born in Madrid. I can understand why so many UK nationals have chosen to make Spain their home,” he said.
Head of Spanish, Matthew Nicolson was thrilled at the news: “We in the Spanish department are delighted at this news. It is surely a reminder not only that Bedford School pupils can go on to be very successful professionally, but also that knowledge of the Spanish language and culture can be an asset in so many different careers. It is truly inspiring for students of Spanish to know that an Old Bedfordian will be engaging with this fascinating country in such an exciting and meaningful way. Congratulations Hugh!”
See Hugh’s first video as British Ambassador to Spain and Andorra here.
Photo supplied by Hugh’s father, Tim Elliott: Hugh presenting his ambassadorial credentials to the King Felipe of Spain