King Charles arrived in France on Wednesday for a three-day official visit. During that time, he and President Emmanuel Macron will attempt to heal years of strained relations between the two countries by relying on symbols and personal connections.
In a windy Paris, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne welcomed the King and his wife, Queen Camilla, before they went to a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe where both countries’ air forces will do a fly-past.
One of the highlights of the trip will be a state dinner on Wednesday at the Palace of Versailles, where the menu will include blue lobster and a variety of French and English cheeses.
Hugh Grant, Mick Jagger, Arsene Wenger, Didier Drogba, and French billionaire Bernard Arnault are among the celebrities who have been invited to the feast, along with more than 150 other guests.
Following a significant fire in 2019 that destroyed its roof, Charles, Camilla, Macron, and his wife Brigitte will visit the Notre-Dame cathedral on Thursday to see rebuilding efforts.
Then, on Friday, Charles and Camilla will fly to Bordeaux, a city in the southwest, where they’ll go on excursions that include a stop at an organic vineyard.
Like his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth, who spoke fluent French, the king is eager to follow in her footsteps and is likely to mention Elizabeth’s deep love for France, according to officials. The trip is also an opportunity to mend relationships that have been damaged by Britain’s tumultuous exit from the EU in 2020.