King Charles to address French senate in historic first

The King will address the French senate on Thursday for the first time in history.

Charles is the only British monarch ever to speak from the senate chamber, where he will remark on the close friendship between the UK and France.

A Guard of Honour will line the King’s route to the Salle des Conferences where he will meet representatives from the Senate and National Assembly and sign the visitors’ book before entering the chamber to deliver his address.

Charles and Camilla are then set to meet sports stars in Saint-Denis, where France is hosting the Rugby World Cup, as part of their state visit which began on Wednesday.

The King and Queen will be joined for the visit by Brigitte Macron as well as sports personalities before visiting a coffee shop on the town square where they will meet beneficiaries of Objectif Emploi, an organisation in Saint-Denis that helps vulnerable young people to find careers, and representatives from The Prince’s Trust International.

Earlier, King Charles and Queen Camilla were welcomed with pomp and ceremony on the first day of their long-delayed state visit to France as the monarch attempts to rebuild bridges between the two nations after Brexit.

The royal couple arrived for their three-day trip on Wednesday, welcomed by President Emmanuel Macron, six months after it was postponed because of widespread rioting sparked by protests over pension reforms.

As the day drew to a close, Charles honoured his late mother, Elizabeth II, in his speech at a lavish state banquet at the Palace of Versailles during which he spoke of her close ties to France and told of the “firm friendship” between the nations.

The King and Queen were guests of honour at the star-studded dinner in the Hall of Mirrors, with Rolling Stones frontman Sir Mick Jagger and actor Hugh Grant among the 160 guests who dined on lobster, Bresse chicken and cheese.

Britain’s Queen Camilla, Britain’s King Charles III, French President Emmanuel Macron and French president’s wife Brigitte Macron arrive to attend a state banquet at the Palace of Versailles, west of Paris


Speaking of the tributes paid in France to the Queen last September, the King told the president: “You said that she had touched your hearts – and it was she who held France in the greatest affection.”

In a speech spoken partly in French, the King said relations between the UK and France have not always been “straightforward” but went on to stress the unity between the nations.

Earlier, Charles gave Mr Macron a book containing photographs of the pair together, as well as a complete edition of French philosopher Voltaire’s writings, during a visit to the Elysee Palace, the president’s official residence. In return, Mr Macron gave the King a golden coin featuring Charles’s portrait, as well as a prize-winning French novel.

They later planted an oak tree, also a gift from Mr Macron.

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