Friday, 23 Feb 2024

King Charles III to visit France in first state visit

Holly points out Charles also hit out at parents in biography

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King Charles has chosen to visit France for his first state visit which is expected to begin on March 27. According to French media, the visit has been planned in an attempt to help restore ties which have sometimes been tense since Brexit.

Aides to French President Emmanuel Macron said that he greatly appreciated the King’s acceptance of his invitation.

An advisor to Macron told Le Parisien that the fact that the monarch had chosen to visit France before his coronation on May 6 showed that the country was a priority for him.

They said: “It’s an extremely strong symbol because it will be the first official visit by Charles III.

“The event will be happening when the King is not yet crowned, which shows that France is a priority for him.”

The official added that the visit would “show the age-old attachment of his country to ours, beyond Brexit, and to mark family continuity because Elizabeth II was a Francophile and a Francophone”.

According to Le Parisien, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is expected to travel to Paris for an ice-breaking summit before the royal visit.

The monarch had been expected to choose Paris for a visit because of the historic links between the nations.

The King’s visit will include a state banquet at the Élysée Palace, along with the possibility of visits to both the National Assembly and the Senate.

There is also a possibility that President Macron and the King will visit a hospital, school or another public building.

Brigitte Macron will accompany Queen Camilla during the visits.

London and Paris have had a number of rows in recent years, including over migrant boats crossing the Channel, fishing rights and the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Macron has always been an opponent of Brexit and was reported to have called former Prime Minister Boris Johnson a “clown”.

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In August, weeks before she became Prime Minister, then Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said that she did not know if Macron was a friend or foe.

Mr Sunak has insisted, however, that he wants to repair cross-Channel relations.

Queen Elizabeth II made more visits to the Élysée Palace than any other sovereign, with her first state visit to France taking place in 1957 and her last in 2014.

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