Au revoir, France! King Charles waves goodbye as he boards plane to head home with Camilla – after enjoying Bordeaux wine and tucking into cheese platter during final day of state visit

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  • The King and Queen have left France after the final day of three-day state visit

King Charles III waved au revoir to France as he boarded a plane to head home with Queen Camilla – after received a rapturous welcome in Bordeaux today where His Majesty enjoyed some cheese and a drink or two in the wine capital of the world.

The King waved to the crowd at the top of they boarded the royal plane at Bordeaux-Merignac Airport as they set to depart for the UK.

Their Majesties ended their three-day French state visit in south-west France where September showers failed to dampen their spirits.

The King enjoyed a livener or two as he toured a chaotic festival after taking a ride on an electric tram. He was persuaded to have a nip of whisky – made from his own barley – as he went round the stalls in Bordeaux’s main square.

Moments later he went into another tent where he was talked into trying some organically-made red wine. He also chose a piece of cheese to be wrapped up for him, saying he could not leave without having some local fromage.

He and the Queen arrived at the Place de la Bourse by electric tram after leaving a reception on board the frigate Iron Duke.

King Charles III and Queen Camilla board their plane and wave goodbye at Bordeaux-Merignac Airport during their departure for the United Kingdom

King Charles III and Queen Camilla board their plane and wave goodbye at Bordeaux-Merignac Airport during their departure for the United Kingdom

King Charles III and Queen Camilla enjoy some red wine during a visit Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, Bordeaux, France

King Charles III and Queen Camilla enjoy some red wine during a visit Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, Bordeaux, France

Charles and Camilla enjoy sample some cheese during a visit to a festival in celebration of British and French culture and business at Place de la Bourse in Bordeaux

Charles and Camilla enjoy sample some cheese during a visit to a festival in celebration of British and French culture and business at Place de la Bourse in Bordeaux

Britain's King Charles III (C) taste some wine during a visit to a festival in celebration of British and French culture and business at Place de la Bourse in Bordeaux

Britain’s King Charles III (C) taste some wine during a visit to a festival in celebration of British and French culture and business at Place de la Bourse in Bordeaux

The King sampled the local vin rouge
The King sampled the local vin rouge

The King sampled the local vin rouge

After the wine, came the cheese course

After the wine, came the cheese course

Earlier the King and Queen took a tram ride before he also had some whisky

Earlier the King and Queen took a tram ride before he also had some whisky

King Charles and Camilla plant a tree in the garden of the City Hall in Bordeaux today

King Charles and Camilla plant a tree in the garden of the City Hall in Bordeaux today 

Before getting on the tram the King broke away to shake hands with members of the crowd, who have usually been kept well away from the royal visitors by French security. ‘We’re from Australia,’ one woman told him. Another said: ‘We’re from Yorkshire!’

As he and Camilla boarded the tram – having been provided earlier with their 1.80 Euro tickets – the King sat down and said: ‘Which way are we going?’

As they set off on the brief journey – just a few hundred yards – the couple waved to onlookers outside.

They arrived at the festival – part of the UK government’s GREAT campaign to promote British trade – to be greeted by a band and chaotic scenes as the crowds jostled to catch a glimpse of the royals.

On his tour of the stands the King visited a stall run by the Gilbert rugby ball company, where he successfully met the ‘passing challenge’ by throwing a ball through a hole a couple of metres away.

Then at a whisky stall he was persuaded to try some Cotswolds whisky, which head of sales Hughes Roberts-Baby said was made with barley from Highgrove. ‘He loved it,’ said Roberts-Baby.

Their majesties wave goodbye as they board the plane home today from Bordeaux

Their majesties wave goodbye as they board the plane home today from Bordeaux

The plane with the King and Queen on board takes off from Bordeaux-Merignac Airport

The plane with the King and Queen on board takes off from Bordeaux-Merignac Airport

Queen Camilla sips on a glass of red wine at Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte while learning about sustainable vineyard

Queen Camilla sips on a glass of red wine at Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte while learning about sustainable vineyard 

King Charles laughs while chatting with vineyard owner Florence Cathiard

King Charles laughs while chatting with vineyard owner Florence Cathiard 

King Charles signs a visitors book during a visit to Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte on the third day of his State Visit to France in Martillac

King Charles signs a visitors book during a visit to Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte on the third day of his State Visit to France in Martillac 

Charles greets an employee at the Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte vineyard

Charles greets an employee at the Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte vineyard 

The King is guided through an experimental forest at the University of Bordeaux by the forest's research lead Sylvain Delzon in Floirac, southwestern France

The King is guided through an experimental forest at the University of Bordeaux by the forest’s research lead Sylvain Delzon in Floirac, southwestern France

Spotting another whisky, he said: ‘I know Old Pulteney – that’s very good.’

A few minutes later the King also tried a glass of St Ferdinand Source Lussac-Saint Emilion. Allan Sichel, president of the Bordeaux Wine Council, said the King discussed how Bordeaux was increasingly turning to organic methods of wine production.

As the King left he was serenaded with a hymn by members of the Fiji rugby team who were at the event.

When they arrived in Bordeaux they were greeted with cheers and shouts of ‘Vive le Roi’ – long live the King in French – from the huge crowds that gathered in the historic city.

The royal couple flew to south-western France after two days in Paris with the Macrons.

His Majesty and his wife are meeting Britons running businesses before touring one of the region’s famous vineyards on the final day of their state visit.

Charles and Camilla flew from Paris to Bordeaux, a change from their original plans amid French media leaks, before being welcomed in a town hall.

Hundreds of people were waiting, and cheered wildly as the royals arrived. The King and Queen then stopped to chat with the public. 

King Charles III and his wife Queen Camilla arrive at Bordeaux's Hotel de Ville (City Hall)

King Charles III and his wife Queen Camilla arrive at Bordeaux’s Hotel de Ville (City Hall)

A guest book signed by King Charles III and Queen Camilla during visit at the City Hall

A guest book signed by King Charles III and Queen Camilla during visit at the City Hall

King Charles III and Queen Camilla attend a reception on the flight deck of HMS Iron Duke in Bordeaux, on day three of the state visit to France

King Charles III (C) boards HMS Iron Duke to attend a reception

King Charles III (C) boards HMS Iron Duke to attend a reception

Their Majesties received a warm welcome to the Hôtel de Ville in the heart of historic Bordeaux to celebrate the strong and historic ties between the city and the UK.

Charles and Camilla were given the red carpet treatment today
Charles and Camilla were given the red carpet treatment today

Charles and Camilla were given the red carpet treatment today

The King is on day three of a successful state visit to France, his 35th trip to Britain’s neighbour

Charles earned cheers and shouts of ‘Vive le Roi’ – long live the King in French – from the huge crowds that gathered in the historic city

Their Majesties walk the red carpet in Bordeaux

Their Majesties walk the red carpet in Bordeaux

King Charles III smiles as he disembarks the aircraft with Queen Camilla as they arrive at Bordeaux-Merignac Airport

King Charles III smiles as he disembarks the aircraft with Queen Camilla as they arrive at Bordeaux-Merignac Airport

The King was all smiles as he landed in Bordeaux, France, today

The King was all smiles as he landed in Bordeaux, France, today 

Charles and Queen Camilla shake hands with people as they arrive at the City Hall in Bordeaux

Charles and Queen Camilla shake hands with people as they arrive at the City Hall in Bordeaux

Hundreds had gathered to catch a glimpse of the royal couple with shouts of ¿Vive le Roi¿ and ¿welcome to Bordeaux¿.

Hundreds had gathered to catch a glimpse of the royal couple with shouts of ‘Vive le Roi’ and ‘welcome to Bordeaux’.

Queen Camilla (L) greets children from local school

Queen Camilla (L) greets children from local school

The plane carrying King Charles III and Queen Camilla lands

The plane carrying King Charles III and Queen Camilla lands

Wearing his sunglasses, King Charles III watches a flypast from the flight deck of HMS Iron Duke

Wearing his sunglasses, King Charles III watches a flypast from the flight deck of HMS Iron Duke

The King has enjoyed a wonderful three-day visit to France, ending the trip in Bordeaux today. here, he meets dignitaries and military personnel during a reception onboard HMS Iron Duke

The King has enjoyed a wonderful three-day visit to France, ending the trip in Bordeaux today. here, he meets dignitaries and military personnel during a reception onboard HMS Iron Duke

Later they will join a reception on a Royal Navy frigate and ride a tram to the main square to meet British and French business owners on Friday.

Charles is to hear about the effects of climate change on forest fires, while Camilla will meet a local charity supporting disadvantaged people.

The couple’s visit will end with a tour of a sustainable vineyard.

Bordeaux, famous for its wine, is home to around 39,000 Britons and is twinned with Bristol.

Their Majesties received a warm welcome to the Hôtel de Ville in the heart of historic Bordeaux to celebrate the strong and historic ties between the city and the UK.

Hundreds had gathered to catch a glimpse of the royal couple with shouts of ‘Vive le Roi’ and ‘welcome to Bordeaux’.

It is twinned with Bristol and the Mayors of both cities were there to welcome them.

The King and Queen will observe a recently signed Memorandum of Understanding between the two cities, celebrating one of the U.K.’s oldest twin city relationships and looking to further cooperation in areas including sustainability, youth and cultural exchanges, and business growth.

Their Majesties arrived at Place Pey Berland, where the Bordeaux Town Hall, the Palais Rohan, is situated.

The King and Queen were met at the main gates of the Town Hall by the Mayor of Bordeaux, Mr Pierre Hurmic. Children from local schools lined Their Majesties’ route into the Town Hall whilst a youth orchestra from the Gironde region played.

The Queen was presented with a posy at the door of the Town Hall.

Once inside the Town Hall, Their Majesties viewed an exhibition featuring photos from The King’s visit to Bordeaux in 1977 as well as Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to Bordeaux during the State Visit to France in 1992.

Britain's King Charles leaves a car as he arrives at the City Hall

Britain’s King Charles leaves a car as he arrives at the City Hall

The visit celebrates the strong and historic ties between Bordeaux and the UK

The visit celebrates the strong and historic ties between Bordeaux and the UK 

Queen Camilla smiles at the warm welcome

Queen Camilla smiles at the warm welcome

: Queen Camilla and King Charles III arrive at Bordeaux-Merignac Airport

: Queen Camilla and King Charles III arrive at Bordeaux-Merignac Airport

Charles and Queen Camilla arrive at the City Hall around 20 minutes later

Charles and Queen Camilla arrive at the City Hall around 20 minutes later

Charles and Camilla met the Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees and his Bordeaux counterpart Pierre Hurmic before being shown a memorandum of understanding- a document outlining an agreement- between the two cities.

They signed the town hall’s guest book, before going out to the garden to plant a Loquat Leaf Oak tree.

Charles giggled as Camilla poured water on the plant, saying ‘very good’.

Camilla was handed a bouquet of flowers after she and Charles greeted hundreds of well-wishers outside Bordeaux’s town hall on Friday afternoon.

Locals waved French and Union flags and shouted ‘God Save The King’.

Butcher Georges Britouille, 57, said: ‘This for us is historic, to have the King visit where we live is something to be remembered.’

They were shown photographs of the King’s visit to the city in 1977, as well as the late Queen Elizabeth’s stop there in 1992.

Bordeaux, famous for its wine, is home to around 39,000 Britons and is twinned with Bristol.

Last night King Charles and Queen Camilla popped back to the Élysée Palace where they said goodbye to Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron ahead of their departure to Bordeaux.

Charles, 74, was supposed to make the visit six months ago, but rioting and strikes forced the last-minute postponement of his first state visit as monarch.

As Charles and Camilla, 76, posed for photos at the Palace while saying goodbye to the French president and first lady, the quartet smiled.

Queen Camilla looked chic during the engagement, wearing a midi length frock in a green and black animal-style print. 

She paired the dress with simple accessories, black heeled pumps, and a stylish black handbag.

The queen’s pale blonde hair was styled into its trademark soft waves, and she opted for a simple, fresh make-up look, pairing a fresh base and light eye look with a nude lip.

Meanwhile, her husband, the king, was equally dapper, opting for a two-piece suit, with a single breasted blazer, in blue pin stripe.

The meeting capped a couple of very busy days for the royals so far. 

Among their engagements on the trip Charles and Camilla attended a banquet dinner in Paris.

Then Queen Camilla  showed off her competitive side, after challenging the French president’s wife to a game of table tennis.   

Her Majesty picked up the paddle while visiting a community centre in Paris as King Charles met sports stars including former Chelsea footballer Didier Drogba and French rugby player Demba Bamba.

This is the second day of the couple’s state visit to France, which is hosting the Rugby World Cup.

The royal couple pose on the steps of the Elysee Presidential Palace in Paris during their three-day state visit to France (pictured L-R: Queen Camilla, King Charles,  French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron)

The royal couple pose on the steps of the Elysee Presidential Palace in Paris during their three-day state visit to France (pictured L-R: Queen Camilla, King Charles,  French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron)

Queen Camilla (pictured, centre) smiled as the French president (pictured, left) greeted her with a kiss on the hand

Queen Camilla (pictured, centre) smiled as the French president (pictured, left) greeted her with a kiss on the hand

The quarter smiled as they posed for snaps on the steps of the palace (pictured L-R: Queen Camilla, King Charles, French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron)

The quarter smiled as they posed for snaps on the steps of the palace (pictured L-R: Queen Camilla, King Charles, French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron)

The king (pictured here with Emmanuel Macron) was supposed to visit France six months ago
However, the visit (which would have been his first state trip) was postponed due to rioting

The king (pictured here with Emmanuel Macron) was supposed to visit France six months ago, but the visit was postponed due to rioting 

The king (pictured, left) beamed during his meeting with the French president (pictured, right) last night

The king (pictured, left) beamed during his meeting with the French president (pictured, right) last night

The queen looked stylish for the engagement, donning a midi length dress with animal-style print and pairing it with black accessories

The queen looked stylish for the engagement, donning a midi length dress with animal-style print and pairing it with black accessories

The King laughed as his wife practised hitting the table tennis ball, before the Queen bravely challenged Brigitte Macron to a game.

President Emmanuel Macron’s wife, 70, appeared to get the better of Camilla, 76, as they played for a few minutes in a well-spirited match.

The Queen hit the ball into the net several times and joked with Mme Macron about the game.

King Charles chatted with Bamba and Welsh rugby player Dan Biggar, who said the royal visit has given France a lift.

Bamba said: ‘Everyone in France is enjoying the World Cup at the minute so it’s great to have this visit now.’

France's First Lady (pictured, left) is photographed appearing as though she is in deep conversation with the queen (pictured, right)

France’s First Lady (pictured, left) is photographed appearing as though she is in deep conversation with the queen (pictured, right)

President Emmanuel Macron and Brigitte Macron are seen as they welcome the royals to the palace

President Emmanuel Macron and Brigitte Macron are seen as they welcome the royals to the palace

The French President (pictured) is snapped greeting Queen Camilla
Macron is snapped greeting King Charles (both pictured)

The French President (pictured) is snapped greeting Queen Camilla (pictured, left) and King Charles (pictured, right)

Camilla and Mme Macron then joined a group of children in an inflatable boxing ring, where the Queen hugged a few of them, before they all posed for a picture.

The Queen encouraged the children to ‘say cheese’, before adding cheekily ‘fromage’.

King Charles made history yesterday by becoming the first British monarch to address the French Senate – and used his speech to declare global warming as ‘our most existential challenge’ – just hours after Rishi Sunak put the brakes on Net Zero.

The monarch spoke of the close friendship between the UK and France but focused on tackling climate change, calling for a new ‘entente cordiale’ specifically to ‘tackle the global climate and biodiversity emergency’.

Speaking in perfect French, Charles suggested France and Britain needed the same unity shown in the World Wars and now Ukraine to ‘stand together’ on the environment, shortly after the PM warned that imposing ‘unacceptable costs’ and ‘heavy-handed’ proposals on families risked wrecking support for saving the planet.

Charles, who has spent decades campaigning on green issues, said: ‘The challenge facing our planet is both great and grave. These horrifying events have once more demonstrated the fragility of so much that we hold dear. Just as we stand together against military aggression, so must we strive together to protect the world from our most existential challenge of all – that of global warming, climate change and the catastrophic destruction of nature.

‘Let us, therefore, cherish and nurture our entente cordiale. Let us renew it for future generations so that, I would like to propose, it also becomes an entente pour la durabilite (agreement for sustainability) – in order to tackle the global climate and biodiversity emergency more effectively. Let us stride forward with hope and courage and do so together’.

Charles spoke out as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak went on the attack over his plans to delay a raft of flagship environmental changes, insisting he ‘passionately’ believes in hitting the 2050 Net Zero target but believes he can do it without lumbering Britons with bills of up to £15,000 to hit green targets.

He also decided on five-year delay to the ban on petrol and diesel car sales, from 2030 to 2035, bringing Britain into line with its nearest neighbour France and the rest of the EU.

Charles addresses Senators and members of the National Assembly at the French Senate, the first time a member of the British Royal Family has spoken there, and made a strong statement on climate change

Charles addresses Senators and members of the National Assembly at the French Senate, the first time a member of the British Royal Family has spoken there, and made a strong statement on climate change

Charles is calling for a new 'entente cordiale' specifically to 'tackle the global climate and biodiversity emergency'

Charles is calling for a new ‘entente cordiale’ specifically to ‘tackle the global climate and biodiversity emergency’

The French Senate gave a standing ovation of almost two minutes

The French Senate gave a standing ovation of almost two minutes

King Charles used his speech to declare global warming as 'our most existential challenge'

King Charles used his speech to declare global warming as ‘our most existential challenge’

Charles spoke for 18 minutes, mainly in French

Charles spoke for 18 minutes, mainly in French 

Britain's King Charles is applauded by members of parliament after he delivered his speech

Britain’s King Charles is applauded by members of parliament after he delivered his speech

French Senators and members of the National Assembly greet Britain's King Charles (C) with a standing ovation at the French Senate

French Senators and members of the National Assembly greet Britain’s King Charles (C) with a standing ovation at the French Senate

Brigitte Macron (L) and Queen Camilla (C) laugh as they speak with a staff member ahead of the launch of a new UK - France Literary Prize

Brigitte Macron (L) and Queen Camilla (C) laugh as they speak with a staff member ahead of the launch of a new UK – France Literary Prize

The King is on day two of his state visit to France, which has proved a huge success. There were cries of ‘Vive le roi!’ – French for long live the king – on the streets of Paris yesterday, and the French Senate gave a standing ovation of almost two minutes. 

READ MORE: The best of friends! Queen Camilla and Brigitte Macron get the giggles at the French National Library

Brigitte Macron and Queen Camilla appeared to get the giggles when they posed for photos at the French National Library this morning

Brigitte Macron and Queen Camilla appeared to get the giggles when they posed for photos at the French National Library this morning

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Speaking in Paris, the King spoke about his love for France and pledges to strengthen ‘indispensable’ France-UK relationship, including on climate change. 

He said he was ‘moved’ to be speaking to the Senate and ‘touched’ by the welcome he had received on his 35th official visit to the country – but his first as King.

‘Quite simply the United Kingdom will always be one of France’s closest friends and allies’, he said.

He also spoke about his mother’s love of France – and President Macron’s tribute to her as the ‘golden thread’ binding France and Britain.

‘My mother died almost one year ago today. My family were moved beyond words for the tributes given across France. I can hardly describe how much these words meant to me. I can only thank you for the kindness you showed at a time of great grief’.

He added: ‘My mother’s gold thread will always shine brightly’.

The historic day, which saw the monarch speak in both English and French and receive standing ovations at the beginning and end, comes after the King enjoyed a lavish banquet at the Palace of Versailles last night.

Charles became the only British monarch ever to speak from the French senate chamber on the second day of his state visit to Paris and Bordeaux.

In a speech delivered in English and French, the King told of the ‘friendship and warm familiarity’ between the two countries, as well as the unity on issues such as climate change and foreign military aggression.

He said: ‘For the time that is granted to me as King, I pledge to do whatever I can to strengthen the indispensable relationship between the United Kingdom and France – and, today, I invite you to join me in this endeavour. Together, our potential is limitless.

‘Let us, therefore, cherish and nurture our entente cordiale. Let us renew it for future generations so that, I would like to propose, it also becomes an entente pour la durabilite (agreement for sustainability) – in order to tackle the global climate and biodiversity emergency more effectively.

‘A commitment to each other, and to the values we so proudly share; a commitment inspired by the example of the past, and emboldened to grapple with the immense challenges in the world around us.

‘As neighbours, friends, partners and allies, there is no challenge to which we cannot rise, as we have done so often in the past. Let us stride forward with hope and courage – and let us do so together.’




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