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Her Majesty's Diplomatic Service (HMDS) is the diplomatic service of the United Kingdom, dealing with foreign affairs, as opposed to the Home Civil Service, which deals with domestic affairs. Its approximate 16,000 employees staff the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London as well as 240 posts (Embassies and other offices) around the world, alongside locally employed staff and members of other Government departments. The Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs is also the Head of the Diplomatic Service.

The Foreign Service, which originally provided civil servants to staff the Foreign Office, was once a separate service, but it amalgamated with the Diplomatic Service in 1918. The Diplomatic Service also absorbed the Colonial Service in the late 1960s.




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