King Charles visits Notre-Dame in state trip aimed at bolstering ties

September 22, 2023 9:44 am

[Source: Reuters]

King Charles underscored on Thursday the importance of the relationship between Britain and France and called for a renewed “Entente Cordiale” to tackle climate change, on the second day of a state visit to France.

Both nations hope the visit will help turn the page on years of tensions since Britain’s 2020 exit from the EU.

French President Emmanuel Macron and Charles have shared correspondence and insight on the restoration of the cathedral, which dates back to the 12th century.

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The royal couple and Macron, with his wife Brigitte, spoke with firefighters who were on the spot the night of the Notre Dame blaze. “We were afraid it would just crumble,” one firefighter told Charles and Camilla.

Charles shook hands with curious bystanders – most with their mobile phones in hand to snap a picture – after visiting the central Paris flower market renamed after his mother during the late Queen Elizabeth’s last official visit to France in 2014.

Camilla tried her hand at weaving at French luxury house Chanel’s 19M workshop, with Brigitte Macron and Chanel CEO Leena Nair watching.

Charles received a jersey from the French soccer team Paris Saint-Germain, bearing his name and the number three, in a nod to his title King Charles III. Club President Nasser Al-Khelaifi presented the jersey to the king, as he continued his visit in Saint-Denis, outside Paris.

Camilla and Macron’s wife Brigitte played table tennis together at a sports centre outside of Paris – not that successfully.

With Brigitte dressed in red, Camilla in white and the tennis table being blue, this offered a display of the colours of both the French and British flags.

The royal couple and Brigitte Macron chatted with youngsters at the Saint-Denis sports centre.

King Charles received a standing ovation following his speech at the French senate, the first by a British monarch to representatives of both houses of the French parliament.

Charles spoke in flawless French, turning to English only for short parts of the speech.

On foreign policy, he said: “Together we are unwavering in our determination that Ukraine will triumph.

Charles was referring to the “Entente Cordiale” of the early 20th century that smoothed over diplomatic relations between the European powerhouses.

On foreign policy, he said: “Together we are unwavering in our determination that Ukraine will triumph.