High Commissioner & Ambassador

What is the difference between High Commissioner and Ambassador?

By Cathy, Netherlands - 2nd Oct. 2007

The functions these two individuals perform are the same. There is no difference. I understand that both are of the same rank. Britain’s diplomatic missions in various parts of the world are either called High Commission or Embassy.

The former term is used to refer to Britain’s diplomatic missions in commonwealth countries. For example, the diplomatic mission in Delhi is called the High Commission and the senior diplomat in charge of it is the High Commissioner.

Since the United States and Russia were never a part of the commonwealth, Britain’s diplomatic missions in these countries are called Embassies and not High Commissions. The person in charge of one is called Ambassador.

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