Six months after postponing his state visit due to the scale of demonstrations against pension reform, King Charles III will finally make his first official trip to France since his coronation on May 6, 2023.
The state visit will begin at 14:45 with a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe, in which he and his wife, Queen Camilla, will take part along with the French presidential couple. The king must relight the flame and lay a wreath at the foot of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier before setting off along the Champs-Élysées in a Citroën DS7 convertible with Emmanuel Macron.
The descent will be followed by a bilateral exchange between the two heads of state at 16:00, where they will discuss the topics of biodiversity, climate, artificial intelligence, as well as the war in Ukraine and the situation in the Sahel. The meeting was immediately followed by a symbolic ceremony to replant an oak tree proposed by Emmanuel Macron in honor of the British king, and then a state dinner in a royal atmosphere at the Palace of Versailles.
Traveling around Ile-de-France and the Gironde
Late Thursday morning, Charles III will be received in the Senate by his president, Gerard Larcher, and National Assembly President Yael Braun-Pivet, and will give a speech, partly in French, to elected officials. Meanwhile, Queen Camilla will be at the Bibliothèque Nationale to present the Franco-British Literary Prize with Brigitte Macron.
The king is expected to visit the restoration site of the cathedral, which was partially destroyed by fire in 2019, shortly before 3 p.m. Immediately after this, he will head to the National Museum of Natural History or speak at the end of a ministerial round table on climate and biodiversity, while his wife, always accompanied by the First Lady of France, will go to 19M.
The British monarch will then travel to Saint-Denis, the city that will be the nerve center of the Paris Summer Olympics, to meet with sports associations and figures in the company of his wife, before meeting the French president again, this time informally. .
On the last day of their visit to France, Charles and Camilla will travel to Bordeaux on Friday, a city that was once under the control of England’s King Henry II and is now home to 39,000 Britons. In the Gironde, they will visit an ecological vineyard and meet “British and French military personnel to learn more about defense cooperation between the two countries,” according to a press release issued by the British Embassy in Paris.