King Charles III to make state visit to France after 6-month delay

Original trip scrubbed in March due to pension reform protests across France

King Charles III and Queen Camilla will travel to France for a state visit later this month. File Photo by The British Ministry of Defense/UPI
King Charles III and Queen Camilla will travel to France for a state visit later this month. File Photo by The British Ministry of Defense/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 6 (UPI) -- King Charles III will travel to France with Queen Camilla later this month for a state visit including talks with French President Emmanuel Macron and a highly anticipated address before the French parliament.

Charles will arrive in Paris on Sept. 20 for a three-day stay, according to Buckingham Palace.


The trip comes more than six months after the king was forced to cancel the trip in March due to violent protests that erupted across France over pension reforms.

Macron, who has emerged from the severe public backlash after he signed the controversial law in April, plans to honor the royal couple at a state banquet in the Palace of Versailles, where Charles and Camilla will be greeted by some of the famous athletes in town for the Rugby World Cup, as well as some 2024 Olympic hopefuls.

During the first leg of the visit, Macron will host the king at a sustainability reception for British and French business leaders who will speak with Charles about ongoing investment plans to fight climate change.

Elsewhere, Camilla and French first lady Brigitte Macron will announce the launch of the Franco-British literary prize at the National Library of France.


Throughout the trip, Charles will hold a series of discussions on climate, defense, trade, and immigration, but the highlight of the king's visit would be his long-delayed speech before the French national assembly, becoming the first British monarch to address both houses of the French parliament.

The royals will also travel more than 300 miles to the French town of Bordeaux -- which is Bristol's sister city due to its large enclave of British residents. While there, Charles plans to meet with emergency crews and community members who were devastated by wildfires in 2022.

During the trip, the king will meet with various climate policy experts as well as British and French military leaders who will provide updates on standing defense cooperation.

The visit wraps up on Sept. 23 when Charles and Camilla will visit an organic vineyard that is using clean energy to revolutionize the winemaking process.

The king's trip was widely viewed as an "important" step to smoothing relations as diplomacy has remained fraught since Brexit, when Britain officially withdrew from the European Union in 2020.

The trip also takes place after a summit in March between Macron and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, which marked the first sit-down between the frayed allies since 2018.


In a statement announcing the trip, Chris Fitzgerald, who serves as deputy private secretary to Charles, said the two nations remain committed to their partnerships on multiple fronts.

"The state visit will celebrate Britain's relationship with France, marking our shared histories, culture and values," Fitzgerald said. "It will also provide an opportunity to look forward and demonstrate the many ways the U.K. and France are working together, whether that be to promote and protect biodiversity, combat climate change, strengthen security and defense ties in response to the conflict in Ukraine or recognize outstanding cultural achievement."

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