Eric Blair, Britain’s Honorary Consul in Monaco, has been recognised in the King’s first Birthday Honours list with the award of an MBE.

In the official citation, on the Overseas and International list, Mr Blair’s Member of the British Empire award is “for services to British Nationals in Monaco.”

Speaking to NEWS.MC on Sunday, Mr Blair said the award had come as “a real shock.” He added that he was very happy and very much appreciated the Honour.

Mr Blair is the UK’s first honorary consul based in Monaco, his predecessor having operated from Nice.

Mr Blair has been Britain’s Honorary Counsul for 30 years, during which time the nature of his unpaid work has changed. While in earlier times his remit covered prison visits and the issuing of replacements for lost passports, his work is now entirely centred on helping British citizens in distress.

On one prison visit many years ago, the British citizen who had been remanded in custody on charges of reselling Grand Prix tickets asked his official visitor for a favour. Could he try to increase the length of his stay, please, as the hotel he was staying in was overcrowded.

NEWS.MC adds its congratulations to Mr Blair.