Some years ago, I was invited to lunch with Henry Kissinger. I wasn’t able to go. I have always regretted it. Tonight he came to the RA in celebration of his ninetieth birthday. Whatever the views of historians of his role in the past, he spoke with extraordinary authority about international relations, referring to the first mission of the British to China in the late eighteenth century and to the ideas of Bismarck in the nineteenth, talking about diplomacy with a long historical and philosophical dimension.