Envoys and ambassadors

Historically, the highest rank of diplomat was ambassador. An envoy, traditionally sent to smaller states, is the diplomatic rank below ambassador. As a general rule, ambassadors were aristocrats and as this work was gradually formalised, so the requirement remained for a residence in which one could hold grand receptions and parties.

The first head of mission at Portland Place, Baron Erik Palmstierna, held the official title of envoy – i.e., the second highest diplomatic rank – and the diplomatic mission itself had the status of legation (from the Latin lēgātiō, the office of ambassador), now an infrequently used term. Whereas it had previously been deemed a particular honour to give a mission the rank of embassy, after the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 it was considered almost an insult to establish only a legation. However, the same rules on diplomatic immunity, privilege and inviolability apply to a legation/envoy as to an embassy/ambassador. The difference in terms of rank was no more than a matter of protocol. Heads of missions abroad now hold the title ambassador.

Did you know:

The first swedish Diplomat in London was actually a frenchman. Dionysius Beurraeus, was during 1558-1561 Vasahovets envoy in London.


Herman Wrangel 1906-1920 (Charlotte Wrangel)

Erik Palmstierna 1920-1937 (Ebba Palmstierna)

Hans Gustaf Beck Friis 1938-1938 (Margaretha Beck-Friis)

Björn Prytz 1938-1947 (Aino Prytz)

Ambassadors (and Ambassadresses)

Erik Boheman 1947-1948 (Margaret Boheman)

Gunnar Hägglöf 1948-1967 (Anna Hägglöf)

Leif Belfrage 1967-1972 (Greta Belfrage)

Ole Jödahl 1972-1976 (Karin Jödahl)

Olof Rydbeck 1977-1979 (Monica Rydbeck)

Per Lind 1979-1982 (Eva Lind)

Leif Leifland 1982-1991 (Karin Leifland)

Lennart Eckerberg 1991-1994 (Willa Eckerberg)

Lars Åke Nilsson 1995-1996 (Charlotte Nilsson)

Mats Bergquist 1997-2004 (Agneta Bergquist)

Staffan Carlsson 2004-2010 (Marie Tofte)

Nicola Clase 2010-2016 (Andrew Schenkel)

Torbjörn Sohlström 2016-2021 (Helena Vazquez Sohlström)

Mikaela Kumlin Granit 2021- (Jakob Granit)