Quote: The Role of the Ambassador’s Wife

“The role of an Ambassador’s wife is multifaceted and
sometimes a bit misunderstood. To the outside world the life of an
ambassadorial couple is glitz and glamour, they live in palatial houses, are
driven by chauffeurs in large cars with flags, attend a whirlwind of parties.
But when you look behind the scenes, you see a different picture, especially
for the ambassador’s wives. First, many of these women are highly educated and
had successful careers in their home countries. By accompanying their husbands
in their postings, they become “trailing spouses” and risk losing part of their
identity. Increasingly women react either by continuing their own careers, thus
not joining their husbands, or by using their profession in the country of
assignation, thus combining their role of “ambassador’s wife” with their own
professional accomplishments. Another issue is also that ambassadorial couples
have budgetary resources that are insufficient for their representational
functions. As a result, many of the ambassador’s wives have to be ingenious
financial experts and astute organizers.”


Rita Janssen

Spouse of Ambassador Marc Franco, the head of the
Delegation of the European Commission to Russia
from Ambassador
and His Wife: One plus One Is More Than Two

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