Canning House turns 80

  • Freddy Nevison-Andrews

Today, 9 November, Canning House begins its ninth decade. After 80 years promoting Latin America and Iberia in the UK, we look back on some memorable moments from the organisation's history.

9 November 1943 - 9 November 2023

Today, 9 November, Canning House begins its ninth decade. After 80 years promoting Latin America and Iberia in the UK, we look back on some memorable moments from the organisation's history.


In 1943, the 1st Viscount Davidson saw the value of a focus on Latin America in education, business and cultural matters, founding the Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Councils.

Later merged, the organisation and its then-home, No. 2 Belgrave Square, became known as Canning House by 1953.

Through the decades, Canning House has played host to figures known the world over - including His Majesty The King, and Her Late Majesty The Queen - and has helped build British relationships with Latin America through its events, exhibitions and publications.

2 Belgrave Sq. held an incredible and rare library of works on Latin America and Iberia (now housed in King's College London's library), and through the 20th century became definitively the centre for all Latin American affairs in the UK.

A focus on education and cultural affairs, between the UK and Latin America and Iberia, has remained an area of central focus throughout Canning House's 80 years, hosting authors, artists and exhibits of fascinating history and culture.

A great number of Latin America's Presidents have delivered the Canning Lecture - an annual fixture from 1997 - speaking directly to Canning House about their countries' priorities, perspectives, and relationships with the UK.

The Canning Lecture continues to offer a unique opportunity for Latin America and Iberia's Heads of State to address distinguished audiences here in the UK, most recently welcoming the Presidents of Uruguay, Ecuador, Costa Rica and Panama.

Five years ago, Canning House marked its 75th Anniversary with a Gala Dinner, and laid a wreath at the foot of the statue of George Canning - after whom the organisation is named - in Parliament Square.

Those whose contribution to the advancement of UK-Latin America relations has been outstanding have received the distinguished award of the Canning Medal:

The late Lords Montgomery and Garel-Jones, and Enrique García, HE Ambassador Iván Romero Martínez, and Baroness Hooper.

Now: 9 November 2023, our 80th Anniversary.

After 80 years promoting Latin America and Iberia in the UK, Canning House continues its vibrant programme of events, conferences and publications on the critical issues facing these regions, and the world.

Celebrate with us!

Canning House was founded in November 1943, with a mission to build understanding and relationships between the UK, Latin America and Iberia.

Eighty years on, this occasion provides an opportunity to gather and reflect on the organisation's history, and its next 80 years to come.

Join us for an evening in London to mark this milestone in Canning House's history.

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