King Charles Greeted in France With Pomp, Diplomacy on State Visit

Paris (Reuters) —
King Charles III and President of France Emmanuel Macron during a ceremonial welcome at the Arc De Triomphe, in Paris, France, Sept. 20. (Chris Jackson/Pool via REUTERS)

King Charles arrived in France on Wednesday for a three-day state visit, during which he and President Emmanuel Macron will hope to build on symbolism and personal bonds to turn the page on years of rocky relations between the two nations.

The King and his wife, Queen Camilla, were greeted by French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne in a windy Paris, before heading off to a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe, where both nations’ air forces will be conducting a flypast.

The King, a fluent French speaker like his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth, is keen to walk in her footsteps and is likely to refer to Elizabeth’s deep affection for France, officials said, with the trip also being a chance to rebuild ties that have been frayed by Britain’s chaotic exit from the EU in 2020.

Charles had hoped for a state visit to France to have been his first as king, but a March trip was postponed due to tense protests in France over pension reforms, much to Macron’s embarrassment.

On their second attempt at meeting in France, the 74-year-old King and the 45-year-old President will set out to build on a relationship already bolstered by previous communications. The pair also share interests in climate and heritage, royal aides and royal watchers said.

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