State visit by Charles III to France

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State visit by Charles III to France
Charles III and Emmanuel Macron at a state dinner on 20 September.
Date20 to 22 September 2023
LocationParis
Bordeaux
TypeState visit
ParticipantsKing Charles III
Queen Camilla

King Charles III of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and his wife Queen Camilla made a state visit to France from 20 to 22 September 2023, hosted by the President of France, Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte Macron. It was his first official visit as British monarch on French soil and the 36th visit in his life.[1]

Background

Queen Elizabeth II with her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, when she was still a princess and pregnant with the current British monarch, had made multiple visits to French soil, whose leaders, including Charles de Gaulle, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing and others, received her with open arms, for which with her continuous visits, they have strengthened the ties of friendship of their peoples.[2]

Visit

The visit was originally supposed to take place in March but the trip was postponed because of the 2023 French pension reform unrest.[3]

20 September

The King and President Macron at the British Embassy in Paris

On 20 September 2023, King Charles and his wife, Queen Camilla arrived at Paris Orly Airport and were greeted by Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne.

The King and Queen drove to Arc De Triomphe where the King inspected a guard of honour of French forces and participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The French Air and Space Force elite acrobatic flying team Patrouille de France and the RAF Red Arrows performed a flypast following the ceremony. The King joined President Macron for a ceremonial tree-planting in the garden of Hôtel de Charost, the British Ambassador's residence.[4]

That evening, the King and Queen attended a state banquet at the Palace of Versailles with 160 people in attendance.[5]

21 September

The King traveled to Luxembourg Palace where he addressed the French Senate, becoming the first British monarch ever to do so. During the speech, he addressed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and climate change, calling it an “existential challenge”.[6][7] Meanwhile, at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF), The Queen and Brigitte Macron marked the launch of a new U.K.-France literary prize – ‘The Entente Littéraire Prize’ - at a reception attended by notable literary figures from both countries. The event celebrated the importance of literature and the literary connections between the UK and France.[8]

The King and President Macron at the SV Climate and Nature Finance Mobilisation Forum at the Natural History Museum, Paris

In the afternoon, The King and Queen visited Saint-Denis, the home of the Rugby World Cup village, as France hosts the Rugby World Cup and Paris prepares to host the Olympics and Paralympics next year. The visit celebrated the important role sport can play in bringing communities closer together and enriching the lives of young people.[9]

Charles and Camilla went on to visit "Le 19M" Campus, accompanied by Brigitte Macron, to learn about the organization's work to promote education, creativity, and inclusion through teaching young people traditional "haute couture" skills such as embroidery, pinning, and producing tweed.[10] The King and Queen later visited a central Paris flower market named after Queen Elizabeth II and met local florists. The market was formally renamed during Her Late Majesty’s visit in 2014. This visit also served as the formal welcome to the city from the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, also known as the "Parchment Ceremony." This was the first time the ceremony has taken place outside of the Hotel de Ville.[11]

The King and Queen then visited the Notre-Dame de Paris.[12] The royal couple and Macron, with his wife Brigitte, spoke with firefighters who assisted in fighting the 2019 fire.[13] The royal couple then traveled to Saint-Denis where they visited local businesses and the Basilica of Saint-Denis.[14]

22 September

The King and Queen ended their state visit in Bordeaux.[6] They went on to board H.M.S. IRON DUKE, a Royal Navy Type 23 Frigate, for a reception to highlight the defence ties between France and the UK.[15] The King met with emergency workers affected by wildfires in the region last year and visited an experimental forest designed to monitor the impact of climate change on urban woodlands.[16] Meanwhile, The Queen visited Le Pain de l'Amitié, a local Bordeaux charity which houses a subsidised supermarket, kitchen and restaurant, and provides low-cost food and necessities to those in the local community who may be in need. It also acts as a hub for local families to connect and spend time together.[17] They also attended a festival in celebration of British and French culture and business at the Place de la Bourse.[18] The King and Queen ended their State Visit with a tour of Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte to learn about sustainable vineyard practices in the Bordeaux wine producing region.[19]

See also

References

  1. ^ "King Charles III begins state visit with wreath-laying ceremony in Paris". France24. 20 September 2023. Retrieved 22 September 2022.
  2. ^ "A Look Back at Queen Elizabeth II's First Official Visit to France". WWD.com. 19 September 2023. Retrieved 22 September 2023.
  3. ^ "King Charles's France visit postponed after pension protests". BBC News. 24 March 2023. Archived from the original on 24 March 2023. Retrieved 28 September 2023.
  4. ^ "King Charles III begins state visit with wreath-laying ceremony in Paris". France24. 20 September 2023. Retrieved 28 September 2023.
  5. ^ "King Charles and Camilla join stars at lavish state banquet on long-awaited France state visit". The Independent. 20 September 2023. Retrieved 28 September 2023.
  6. ^ a b "'Existential challenge': King Charles calls for France-UK climate entente". The Guardian. 21 September 2023. Retrieved 28 September 2023.
  7. ^ Said-Moorhouse, Lauren (21 September 2023). "King Charles makes historic speech at French senate as he hails 'indispensable' UK-France relationship". CNN. Retrieved 22 September 2023.
  8. ^ "Queen Camilla and Brigitte Macron very close friends at the BNF". pointdevue.fr. 22 September 2023. Retrieved 2 October 2023.
  9. ^ "King Charles and Queen Camilla visit World Cup Rugby village to talk to young sports fans". The Independent. 22 September 2023. Retrieved 2 October 2023.
  10. ^ "King Charles III and Queen Camilla's Historic Visit The 19M CHANEL". runwaymagazines. 22 September 2023. Retrieved 28 September 2023.
  11. ^ "State Visit to France". The Royal Family. 22 September 2023. Retrieved 2 October 2023.
  12. ^ "In pictures: King Charles visits Paris's Notre-Dame on the second day of state visit". France24. 22 September 2023. Retrieved 28 September 2023.
  13. ^ "King Charles visits Notre-Dame in state trip aimed at bolstering ties". Reuters. 21 September 2023. Retrieved 28 September 2023.
  14. ^ "King Charles III visits fire-damaged Notre-Dame cathedral". PBS. 21 September 2023. Retrieved 28 September 2023.
  15. ^ "Iron Duke and RM Band support The King and Queen in Bordeaux". Royal Navy. 22 September 2023. Retrieved 2 October 2023.
  16. ^ "King Charles ends state visit to France in Bordeaux with focus on the environment". euronews. 22 September 2023. Retrieved 28 September 2023.
  17. ^ "Royal Visit France". The Royal Family. 22 September 2023. Retrieved 2 October 2023.
  18. ^ "King Charles III winds up his France state visit in Bordeaux to focus on the climate and sip wine". AP News. 22 September 2023. Retrieved 28 September 2023.
  19. ^ "Royal Crush: Bordeaux Welcomes the King and Queen of England". winespectator. 22 September 2023. Retrieved 2 October 2023.