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Former British Ambassador to the U.S. Christopher Meyer dies at 78

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Former British Ambassador to the United States Christopher Meyer presents a knighthood to filmmaker Steven Spielberg during a visit in Washington, D.C., on January 29, 2001. File Photo by Ron Sachs/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/d4cb730187ff27b09f800952071306d3/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Former British Ambassador to the United States Christopher Meyer presents a knighthood to filmmaker Steven Spielberg during a visit in Washington, D.C., on January 29, 2001. File Photo by Ron Sachs/UPI | License Photo

July 29 (UPI) -- Former British Ambassador to the United States Christopher Meyer died this week following a stroke, officials said on Friday. He was 78.

Meyer was stricken by the stroke recently while he was on vacation in the French Alps. He died on Wednesday.

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The former British ambassador was the country's top diplomat to the United States between 1997 and 2003, during the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. He was appointed to the post by then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

"Saddened to hear of the death of Sir Christopher Meyer," Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted Friday.

RELATED Former British ambassador to U.S. attacked at London train station

"He was a dedicated public servant throughout his career and devoted his life to international diplomacy."

Meyer was known for his love of colorful socks and wrote posts under the name "Sir Socks" on Twitter. He joined the British Foreign Office in 1966 before going on to become Blair's top spokesperson and take a brief stint as British ambassador to Germany.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was among those who acknowledged Meyer's death this week. Photo by Paul Hanna/UPI

The post of ambassador to the United States is considered the most prestigious diplomatic assignment in London, much like the U.S. ambassadorship to Britain is the United States' top diplomatic post.

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In his autobiography D.C. Confidential, Meyer was critical of Blair for essentially giving Bush a blank check for British support for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the early 2000s.

"Very sad to see former British Ambassador to the U.S. Christopher Meyer has died," British Ambassador to the United States Karen Pierce said in a tweet.

"He was a great diplomat and a great character."

After he left the diplomatic post, Meyer became chairman of Britain's press watchdog agency and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1998.

In 2018, two teenagers were accused of attacking Meyer at a London subway station when he was 74. The assault put him in the hospital.

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