Nigel Haywood

Nigel Robert Haywood CVO (born 17 March 1955) is a British diplomat, who served as British ambassador to Estonia from 2003 until 2008 and Governor of the Falkland Islands from 2010 until 2014.[1][2]

Nigel Haywood
Nigel Haywood (left) during Foreign Office minister Hugo Swire's (right) visit to the Falkland Islands in February 2014.
Governor of the Falkland Islands
Commissioner for South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
In office
16 October 2010  29 April 2014
MonarchElizabeth II
Chief ExecutiveTim Thorogood
Keith Padgett
Preceded byAlan Huckle
Succeeded byColin Roberts
Personal details
Born (1955-03-17) 17 March 1955
Betchworth, United Kingdom
SpouseMary Louise
Children3 sons
Alma materNew College, Oxford
Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
WebsiteOfficial website

Early life

Haywood was born in Betchworth, Surrey, but moved to his mother's native Cornwall when he was nine, following the death of his father.[3]

Educated at Truro School, Haywood studied English at New College, Oxford and then attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst before going back to Oxford to study linguistics, eventually becoming a Member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists.[4]

Haywood, a Cornish language speaker, was appointed Bard of the Gorsedh Kernow in 1976, by the Bardic name of Morer (Sea Eagle).[5][6]

Diplomatic career

After leaving Sandhurst, Haywood was a Lieutenant in the Royal Army Educational Corps before joining Her Majesty's Diplomatic Service in 1983. He first worked in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with postings in the Republic of Ireland, Hungary, Israel, and Lebanon. In 1992 he became the Deputy Consul-General in Johannesburg and in 1996 he was appointed Deputy Head of the UK's Delegation to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in Vienna.[4]

From 2003 to 2008, Haywood was the Ambassador from the United Kingdom to Estonia, during which time he and his wife featured in the BBC series Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work which documented Queen Elizabeth II's 2006 visit to Tallinn.[7] In October 2006, Haywood was appointed a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO).[8] After five years as Ambassador, Haywood became the Consul-General in Basra, Iraq.[4] This earned him the Iraq Reconstruction Service Medal.

Falkland Islands

In 2009, it was announced that Haywood had been appointed Governor of the Falkland Islands and Commissioner for South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; he took up office on 16 October 2010.[2][9]

As Governor, Haywood led commemorations for the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War in 2012 [10] and strongly criticised Argentina's sovereignty claim over the Falklands during increased tensions following the 30th anniversary of the war and the decision of the Falkland Islands government to start oil exploration in Falklands territorial waters.[11] Haywood also used his position to praise the influence of the islands' Chilean population and promote links with Chile.[12]

In 2011, the Argentine Defence minister, Arturo Puricelli, stated that the Falkland Islanders were kept as "hostages" on the islands[13] and later suggested that the British military "is the only element that upholds the usurpation of that part of our national territory".[14] This led Haywood to propose a referendum to see whether islanders want to remain British or not "so we can solve the issue once and for all".[15] A referendum was subsequently held in March 2013 in which 99.8% of the islanders voted to remain a British Overseas Territory. Following the vote Haywood said, "Obviously it is a major principle of the United Nations that a people have their right to self-determination, and you don't get a much clearer expression of the people's self-determination than such a large turnout and such a large 'yes' vote."[16]

In late 2012, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office announced that Haywood would be leaving the Falkland Islands in April 2014, to be replaced as Governor and Commissioner by Colin Roberts.[17] From 2015, Haywood undertook a PhD studying the Falklands Fritillary Butterfly which required him to revisit the islands several times.[18]


  1. Watson, Lisa (1 September 2009). "British consul in Basra next Falkland Islands governor". MercoPress. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
  2. Brock, Juanita (8 October 2010). "Falklands Programme for New Governor". SARTMA. Retrieved 16 October 2010.
  3. love kids "Falkland Islands: Weekly Penguin News Update". Penguin News. MercoPress. 4 September 2009. Retrieved 11 June 2010. {{cite news}}: Check |url= value (help)
  4. "Nigel Haywood, Esq, CVO". Debrett's. Archived from the original on 23 March 2012. Retrieved 10 June 2010.
  5. "Cornish Reunited Sharing our Cornish ancestry". Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  6. "Gorseth Kernow" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 April 2014. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  7. "Monarchy: Head of State". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 24 September 2008. Retrieved 16 October 2010. In Estonia, it will be the most exciting - and worrying - 24 hours in the entire career of the British Ambassador to Estonia, Nigel Haywood, and his wife, Louise. It will also be a memorable week for the crew of the chartered jet which will carry The Queen and Prince Philip around the Baltic region.
  8. "Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood". The London Gazette. 14 November 2006. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
  9. "Change of Governor of the Falkland Islands". Foreign and Commonwealth Office. 1 September 2009. Retrieved 10 June 2010.
  10. "Falklands turns out to commemorate Liberation Day and pay tribute to British Forces". MercoPress. 14 June 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
  11. "There is a point where Islanders will say to the Argentines, 'To hell with you.'". MercoPress. 7 February 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
  12. "Falklands' governor praises local Chilean community and links with Chile". MercoPress. 26 September 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
  13. "Argentine election fever: minister accuses UK of keeping hostage "2000 Falklands' Islanders"". MercoPress. 29 June 2011. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  14. "Argentina shows off jet model and calls on UK to dialogue on Falklands' sovereignty". MercoPress. 13 August 2012. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  15. "Falklands open to UN referendum to decide whether Islanders want to remain British". MercoPress. 29 March 2012. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  16. "Falklands referendum: Voters choose to remain UK territory". BBC News. 12 March 2013. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
  17. "Head of BOT Department, next Governor of the Falkland Islands". MercoPress. 21 December 2012. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  18. FITV video: Studying the Falklands Fritillary Butterfly, 2018.
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