Wednesday, 25 Nov 2020

Queen still ‘too vulnerable’ to return to royal life as Charles steps up for Macron visit

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Prince Charles, 71, who has recovered from coronavirus, and Camilla, 72, will leave lockdown next Thursday to welcome French President Emmanuel Macron to the UK. ITV’s royal editor Chris Ship said it has “clearly been decided” that the Queen, 94, is “too vulnerable” to attend the event.

The royal expert tweeted: “So Prince Charles and Camilla’s lockdown is over.

“After being at Balmoral since March – they have an event in London next week with French President @EmmanuelMacron.

“It’s clearly been decided the The Queen, 94, is too vulnerable to receive visitors, even other heads of state.”

In a later tweet, he added: “That said, Prince Charles did do the same event with the French President in 2010…

“But he will now be relocating to England after spending many weeks (including with his coronavirus) with Camilla at Birkhall, on the Bamoral estate.”

Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will travel from Scotland to London and the greeting will take place at Clarence House.

The meeting is being held to celebrate the 80th anniversary of General Charles de Gaulle’s appeal to the French population to resist the German occupation of France during the Second World War.

In his rallying call, which was broadcast on the BBC in June 1940, he said: “I call upon all Frenchmen who want to remain free to listen to my voice and follow me.”

Mr Macron is also visiting the capital to honour the city and the country by awarding London France’s highest decoration – Legion d’Honneur.

Charles and Camilla, who have been carrying out royal engagements remotely during the coronavirus pandemic, are said to be “pleased” to be welcoming the French President to the UK.

But the engagement is not expected to mark the return to regular public duties.

However a number of low-key events are also planned for next week.

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Clarence House said in a statement: “The President of the French Republic will visit London on Thursday 18th June 2020 to celebrate the 80th Anniversary of General de Gaulle’s ‘Appel’ to the French population to resist the German occupation of France during WWII.

“On behalf of Her Majesty’s Government, Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will formally receive President Emmanuel Macron at Clarence House with a Guard of Honour found by Number 7 Company Coldstream Guards accompanied by the Band of the Coldstream Guards.”

A Clarence House spokeswoman added that social distancing rules would be followed and part of the welcome would be staged outside.

Mr Macron will not be subject to the new 14-day quarantine policy.

A spokesman for Prime Minister said: “As we set out in the guidelines when they were published, the French delegation will fall within the exempted category of representatives of a foreign country or territory travelling to undertake business in the UK.”

Charles and Mr Macron are thought to have met a number of times.

In January they sat side by side at a global event in Jerusalem marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

Charles and Camilla have been staying at their Scottish residence Birkhall since March.

The heir to the throne has recovered after catching coronavirus and suffering mild symptoms.

The Queen is based at Windsor Castle with Prince Philip, 99, and a reduced household of around 20 staff.

She recently appeared in her first ever official video conference call as part of her public royal duties and she has made two televised addresses to the nation since the lockdown started.

The 94-year-old is still holding her weekly audience with the Prime Minister by telephone and receiving her daily red boxes of Government papers.

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