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A Diplomatic Ball held on HMS Blonde in Constantinople, 1829

Posted by Paul Martinovich , on November 21st, 2018

Abstract

An interesting example of the use of Royal Navy ships to exert ‘soft power’ is offered by this account of a ball held at Constantinople in 1829 onboard the frigate HMS Blonde. The Navy collaborated with the British embassy to decorate and furnish this ship of war in order to welcome several hundred guests, including a number of high officials in the Ottoman government. Apparently everyone had a boisterous time, eating, drinking and dancing. As a result, British relations with the Turkish Empire, previously cool, improved considerably.

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