The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office have disclosed some of the oddest requests that have been asked by British expatriates and holiday makers.
Most of the time the FCO deals with more routine issues such as what to do when losing money or when falling victim to crime, however as is always the case when dealing with the wonderfully complex minds of human beings- some questions can be a little off-kilter.
Some of these outlandish queries include a generous fellow who called the British Embassy in Spain to find out Prince Charles’ shoe size, so that he could send him a pair of shoes as a present. The Spanish Embassy have also dealt with a request for Phil Collins’ phone number while staff in America where asked if they had any advice on the removal of ants from a holiday villa, and one budding carpenter called the Embassy in Greece for tips on building the ultimate chicken coop.
Such has been the increase in these kinds of queries, the FCO has had to open a call centre in Malaga in a bid to filter the serious calls from the foolish. While looking at the stranger requests in a comical manner offers a bit of light relief, the FCO is keen to stress that they do eat up valuable resources that could be used on serious problems: “We will always try to help where we can but there are limits to the support that we can provide,” said Jeremy Browne, the minister for consular affairs.