'You visited as a Prince, you return as a King. Your Majesty, welcome': President Macron shares footage of Charles's previous official trips to the country as he and Queen Camilla get set to begin three-day state visit to France today

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  • The King and Queen’s first trip to France was postponed in March due to riots  

French President Emmanuel Macron has welcomed King Charles back to France ahead of his official state visit today, telling him ‘you visited a Prince, you return as a King’.   

The King and Queen, who were seen getting on their plane this morning, are set to arrive in Paris this afternoon amid a major security operation – six months after they were forced to postpone their trip because of violent protests in the country.

Taking to social media to welcome the monarch, President Macron shared a video montage of achieve footage of the King’s previous 34 trips to the country as Prince of Wales.

The poignant videos span over decades, some showing a very young Charles while others show him speaking in French, at one point admitting ‘I don’t practice the French language enough’.

Charles, 76, and Camilla, 74, will divide their time between Paris and Bordeaux packing in 21 high-profile engagements in just three days.

The King and Queen, aged 76 and 74, will arrive in Paris to begin their state visit in France after it was postponed in March due to violent protests

The King and Queen, aged 76 and 74, will arrive in Paris to begin their state visit in France after it was postponed in March due to violent protests 

The King and Queen are expected to arrive in Paris later this afternoon. The Royal Family shared a photo of the monarch boarding a plane this morning

The King and Queen are expected to arrive in Paris later this afternoon. The Royal Family shared a photo of the monarch boarding a plane this morning 

Writing on X, Charles and Camilla said: 'We are so looking forward to joining you in Paris and Bordeaux, as we embark on our first State Visit as King and Queen to France, a country for which we both have the greatest love and admiration'

Writing on X, Charles and Camilla said: ‘We are so looking forward to joining you in Paris and Bordeaux, as we embark on our first State Visit as King and Queen to France, a country for which we both have the greatest love and admiration’

The French President captioned the video: 'You visited as a Prince, you return as a King. Your Majesty, welcome'. Pictured: A video of Charles, then Prince of Wales, on an official visit to Paris

The French President captioned the video: ‘You visited as a Prince, you return as a King. Your Majesty, welcome’. Pictured: A video of Charles, then Prince of Wales, on an official visit to Paris 

An officer and 20 guardsmen of the Republic Guard, which is part of the French National Gendarmerie, lined up to greet the King and Queen on a rolled out red carpet. 

Sharing footage of the King being welcomed onto his jet this morning, Charles and Camilla said in a joint Tweet: ‘We are so looking forward to joining you in Paris and Bordeaux, as we embark on our first State Visit as King and Queen to France, a country for which we both have the greatest love and admiration. 

‘We will celebrate the special bond between our two countries and all that your wonderful country has to offer. À bientôt France!’

Charles and Camilla will meet President Macron, 45, and his wife Brigitte, 70, for a ceremony of remembrance and wreath laying at the Arc de Triomphe in the capital’s centre later today. 

The King will be invited by the president to symbolically light the monument’s eternal flame which burns in memory of those who died in the First and Second World War. 

As part of the Anglo-French charm offensive, President Macron will host a state banquet in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles while the King will become the first British royal to address the French senate, speaking in both English and French.

The King was forced to cancel his state visit to France after widespread rioting began across the country opposing Macron’s retirement age reforms.

It was set to be the King and Queen’s first state visit following the death of Queen Elizabeth but Germany – the second leg of the journey – became the historic first destination for the couple. 

In the days leading up to the planned visit, protesters daubed ‘Death to the King’ in threatening red paint across buildings, warning the violence would worsen if the monarch arrived.

In Paris this morning, streets were seen being lined with Union Jacks and French flags ahead of the King and Queen's first official state visit together as monarchs

In Paris this morning, streets were seen being lined with Union Jacks and French flags ahead of the King and Queen’s first official state visit together as monarchs 

The video montage used various clips, including one where the King, then a young Prince, admitted 'I don't practice my French as much as I should'

The video montage used various clips, including one where the King, then a young Prince, admitted ‘I don’t practice my French as much as I should’

Streets are barricaded and decorated with flags of United Kingdom and France as King Charles III, accompanied by Queen Camilla, travels to Paris, France

Streets are barricaded and decorated with flags of United Kingdom and France as King Charles III, accompanied by Queen Camilla, travels to Paris, France

Emmanuel Macron at the EU summit in Brussels yesterday

President Emmanuel Macron is expected to throw a lavish state banquet in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles to mark the King and Queen’s arrival

It was ruled it was too unsafe for the King and Queen to visit France as violence swept the country

It was ruled it was too unsafe for the King and Queen to visit France as violence swept the country

In the days leading up to the planned visit, protesters daubed 'Death to the King' in threatening red paint across buildings, warning the violence would worsen if the monarch arrived

In the days leading up to the planned visit, protesters daubed ‘Death to the King’ in threatening red paint across buildings, warning the violence would worsen if the monarch arrived

The British Government was asked by the French leader to postpone the trip at the time after French unions called for the nationwide pension protests to coincide with the King’s visit. 

READ HERE: For Charles, Paris is a city of profoundly personal significance – and tragedy. It is where the Abdication Crisis reached its final, sad denouement. And it is from there he had to collect the body of Diana, mother of his two boys

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As well as chaotic scenes in Paris, Bordeaux’s town hall was set alight by protesters just a few days before the monarch’s planned arrival.

Charles and Camilla are expected to arrive in Paris this afternoon with the events expected to be largely the same as they were in March.

Buckingham Palace said in a statement announcing the rescheduled trip: ‘The King and Queen will undertake a state visit to France, visiting Paris and Bordeaux, from Wednesday 20th to Friday 22nd September 2023.

‘The visit will celebrate the shared history, culture and values of the United Kingdom and France.’

Chris Fitzgerald, Deputy Private Secretary to Their Majesties, told the Mail last week that the trip would highlight issues of mutual interest including climate change and protecting biodiversity.

He added that they will discuss strengthening security and defence ties in response to the conflict in Ukraine and recognising outstanding cultural achievement.

After arriving in Paris, the King and Queen will join President and Madame Macron for a ceremony of Remembrance and wreath laying at the Arc de Triomphe, before processing down the Champs-Élysées towards the Elysée Palace.

Charles, 76, and Camilla, 74, will divide their time between Paris and Bordeaux packing in 21 high-profile engagements in just three days

Charles, 76, and Camilla, 74, will divide their time between Paris and Bordeaux packing in 21 high-profile engagements in just three days 

President Macron previously met with the then-Prince of Wales in London in 2020

President Macron previously met with the then-Prince of Wales in London in 2020

The King will then have a meeting with the President before attending the black tie event at the Palace of Versailles, where he and Queen Camilla will be joined by Sir Mick Jagger.

Organisers have invited a range of celebrities to eat and drink with King Charles and Queen Camilla in the lavish Hall of Mirrors – a space designed to reflect the omnipotence of the Sun King, Louis XIV.

Rock royalty Mr Jagger, 80, will be travelling from his own stately home – the Château de Fourchette (Fork House) in the Indre-et-Loire department – for the evening.

Mr Arnault, 74, owns luxury mansions in Paris and Bordeaux and is the head of the LVMH luxury goods conglomerate, which includes brands like Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior.

Rich lists regularly put him at Number 1, with his fortune estimated by Forbes to be £178billion. In 2012 he was made Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire ‘for services to business’ by the late Queen Elizabeth II. 

Charles is said to have provided a strict list of culinary demands for the evening’s soiree.

Michelin-starred kitchen maestros Yannick Alléno, Anne-Sophie Pic and Pierre Hermé have finalised a menu which was sent to London for approval.

This includes banning three of the France’s finest chefs from serving foie gras, while asparagus, which had been on the original menu in March, has been ruled out simply because it is no longer in season.

There will, however, be plenty of mushrooms served to the King and Queen, which are a favourite as they ‘remind them of the late Queen, Elizabeth II’, a French government source said.  

As Charles addresses Senators and members of the National Assembly, Camilla will join Mme Macron to launch a new Franco-British literary prize at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

The couples will then meet a number of community sports groups and sports stars as France hosts the Rugby World Cup and prepares to host the Olympics next year.

After travelling to Bordeaux, the King and Queen will meet emergency workers and communities affected by the Bordeaux wildfires in 2022, highlighting how to tackle climate change.

While in the region the King will also meet British and French military personnel as well as attend a GREAT campaign where British and French businesses will be showcased. 

Finishing off their jam-packed visit, they will take a trip to an organic vineyard before flying back to Scotland where they have spent the summer.  




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