Hungary–United Kingdom relations
British–Hungarian are foreign relations between Hungary and the United Kingdom. Hungary was a part of the Austrian Empire until 1918 when it became independent. Both countries established diplomatic relations in 1920. Both countries are full members of NATO.
During the early 18th century Hungary was little-known in Britain, and its reputation was negative. That steadily changed as travellers reported on the progress in that distant land. British observers saw Hungary as both a country and a province. However the Russian invasion of 1849 caused an outpouring of sympathy for Hungary as a victim. By 1900 British observers saw Hungary as an integral part of the Austro-Hungarian empire.
From 1848 to 1914 the status of Hungary played a minor role in British diplomacy. London's main goal was the peaceful maintenance of the balance of power. It called for a satisfied and stable Hungary to counterbalance Russia and the Slavs residing within the Habsburg Empire. British sympathies toward Hungary did not extend to the recognition of Hungarian independence from Habsburg rule. The Hungarian Revolution of 1848 under Lajos Kossuth gained strong support across Britain in 1848–1851. However Kossuth's calls for independence from the Austrian Empire did not become British policy. Foreign Secretary Lord Palmerston told Parliament the Britain would consider it a great misfortune to Europe if Hungary became independent. He argued that a united Austrian Empire was a European necessity and a natural ally of Britain. Liberal reformers in Hungary closely watched Britain as a model for the sort of parliamentary government they were seeking. They were especially attracted to the British free-trade movement. They outwitted reactionary censorship. Under the pretext of criticizing British conditions, they agitated in favour of a change in feudal Hungary.
In 1924 the Bank of England reached agreement with the Royal Hungarian Note Institution. Britain financed Hungary's reconstruction and re-entry into European commerce. This represented a major expansion of the foreign relations of both nations, and was part of a British effort to forestall inroads into Europe from New York banks.
On 2-4 February 1984, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher visited Hungary, in her first official visit to the Eastern Bloc. She met with Prime Minister György Lázár and First Secretary János Kádár, but their meeting was cancelled at the last minute. She also laid a wreath at Hősök tere and the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Solymár.
Resident diplomatic missions
- Hungary has an embassy in London and a consulate-general in Manchester.
- United Kingdom has an embassy in Budapest.
- Embassy of Hungary in London
- Embassy of the United Kingdom in Budapest
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