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King Charles France visit – Charles and Camilla at lavish state banquet with Macron after Elysée Palace visit

King Charles France visit – Charles and Camilla at lavish state banquet with Macron after Elysée Palace visit

King Charles III and Queen Camilla have arrived at a lavish state banquet as part of their three-day state visit to France, six months after the trip was postponed because of widespread rioting.

The royals, who are the guests of honour, were accompanied by President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron, who are hosting Wednesday evening’s black-tie affair in the Palace of Versailles’ Hall of Mirrors.

Both the King and Mr Macron addressed an array of British and French stars, including Hugh Grant, Mick Jagger, Arsene Wenger and Didier Drogba. The King spoke movingly about his mother's ties to France as he told of the "firm friendship" between the nations at the state banquet in Paris.

The 160 guests dined on lobster, Bresse chicken and cheese.

Earlier, after a spectacular ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe, where the monarch laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Charles and Camilla joined President Macron and First Lady Brigitte Macron in greeting crowds of wellwishers waiting along the Champs-Elysees, before later arriving at the Elysée Palace.

The overseas tour was shelved in March after Mr Macron's retirement age reforms sparked widespread rioting across the country. It was to be the King and his wife’s first state visit, but Germany – the second leg of the journey – became the historic first destination for the royal couple.

Key Points

  • Charles, Camilla and the Macrons arrive at state banquet

  • Charles speaks movingly about his mother’s ties to France

  • Charles tells of ‘firm friendship’ between nations at state banquet

  • What the Royals are expected to get up to tomorrow

  • What’s on the menu at Versailles

  • How have the royals been received in Paris?

King Charles makes History to be first Monarch to ever address the Senate

10:21 , Lydia Patrick

King Charles III stands infront of the Senate to express his gratitude to the national assembly and apologises for disturbing their holiday period.

He said: “Quite simply the United Kingdom shall always be one of the closest allies and one of the best friends of France.”

France Britain Royals
France Britain Royals

In pictures - The A-list Versailles guestlist

09:35 , Lydia Patrick

Rock ‘n’ Roll royalty met with real royalty - Mick Jagger and Melanie Hamrick attended the Versailles banquet (WireImage)
Rock ‘n’ Roll royalty met with real royalty - Mick Jagger and Melanie Hamrick attended the Versailles banquet (WireImage)
The Rolling Stones frontman exudes pure delight (EPA)
The Rolling Stones frontman exudes pure delight (EPA)
Hugh Grant and Anna Elisabet Eberstein arrive ahead of  the lavish state dinner (Getty Images)
Hugh Grant and Anna Elisabet Eberstein arrive ahead of the lavish state dinner (Getty Images)
Hugh Grant is no stranger to global politics after starring as the  British Prime Minister in Love Actually (Getty Images)
Hugh Grant is no stranger to global politics after starring as the British Prime Minister in Love Actually (Getty Images)
Smile and wave - Arsene Wenger  enters the building (Getty Images)
Smile and wave - Arsene Wenger enters the building (Getty Images)
Former Chelsea FC forward Didier Drogba and Gabrielle Lemaire (WireImage)
Former Chelsea FC forward Didier Drogba and Gabrielle Lemaire (WireImage)

The president of the National Assembly of France shares gratitude to the King

10:16 , Lydia Patrick

Yaël Braun-Pivet addressed the Senate to thank Charles for his attendance, she reminisced on the long history between the neighbouring countries.

She thanked the English suffragettes who paved the way for French female empowerment and marked the 120th anniversary of D-Day and 120th anniversary of the Entente Cordiale.

Yaël Braun-Pivet reflected on the long and sometimes rocky history between the states (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Yaël Braun-Pivet reflected on the long and sometimes rocky history between the states (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Watch live - King Charles III makes History and addresses the Senate

09:51 , Lydia Patrick

Brigitte Macron and Camilla launch new literary prize

09:50 , Lydia Patrick

Brigitte Macron and Camilla have launched a new Franco-British Literary prize to honour the cross-channel cultural connection between the countries.

One of Queen Camilla’s biggest passions is literacy, she hopes to help combat illiteracy during her reign.

French President’s wife Brigitte Macron and Britain’s Queen Camilla launch new literary prize “Bibliotheque Nationale de France” (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
French President’s wife Brigitte Macron and Britain’s Queen Camilla launch new literary prize “Bibliotheque Nationale de France” (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Brigitte Macron holds a comic page next to French Culture Minister Rima Abdul-Malak during a visit to the “Bibliotheque Nationale de France” (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Brigitte Macron holds a comic page next to French Culture Minister Rima Abdul-Malak during a visit to the “Bibliotheque Nationale de France” (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

A thoughtful tradition

09:18 , Lydia Patrick

King Charles III followed in his mother Queen Elizabeth II’s footsteps to plant a tree in the garden of the British Residence in Paris.

Planting trees is a longstanding custom amongst the royals to symbolise the hope and continuity of the Royal family.

A new bromance on the horizon?

09:06 , Lydia Patrick

French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his admiration for the King by sharing a video on X.

The footage shows the King and President making their way down the tourist lined streets of Paris as they greet onlookers.

King Charles recalls Queen Elizabeth’s ties to France at state banquet in Versailles

09:00 , Lydia Patrick

A recap of yesterday

08:41 , Lydia Patrick

France pulled out all the stops to give an extravagant welcome to King Charles and Queen Camilla - from a red carpet runway to a lavish state banquet.

The trip comes six months late as riots sparked by pension reforms broke out all over the country, making it unsafe for the trip to go ahead.

The British monarchs touched down yesterday at Paris-Orly airport at 2pm and were greeted by French Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne, other diplomats and guardsmen.

The windy weather left Queen Camilla who was dressed head-to-toe in dusky pink grappling onto her hat as she followed her husband down the stairs.

Queen Camilla battled the wind as she clutched onto her hat and skirt as she walked onto the runway (PA)
Queen Camilla battled the wind as she clutched onto her hat and skirt as she walked onto the runway (PA)

Next, the couple arrived at the Arc-de-Triomphe where they were greeted by Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron to be met with a grand remembrance ceremony.

Macron and Charles laid wreaths and the King lit the eternal flame which burns in memory of those who lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars. Fighter jets flew above as they let off vapour trails in both nations’ colours- red, white and blue.

A poignant moment as the leaders remembered those lost in the World Wars (AFP via Getty Images)
A poignant moment as the leaders remembered those lost in the World Wars (AFP via Getty Images)

Next, the leaders exchanged gifts at the Palace Elysées. Charles gave Mr Macron a book containing photographs of the pair together, as well as a complete edition of French philosopher Voltaire’s writings. 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, in a tradition started by Queen Elizabeth I.

Brigitte Macron and King Charles toast at the state banquet (Getty Images)
Brigitte Macron and King Charles toast at the state banquet (Getty Images)

To end the symbolic day, they were joined by 160 guests in a lavish black-tie state dinner at the Palace of Versailles. Hugh Grant and Mick Jagger were amongst the star-studded guest list who dined on lobster, Bresse chicken and cheese.

The black-tie state dinner at the Palace de Versailles (PA)
The black-tie state dinner at the Palace de Versailles (PA)

What’s on the royal agenda today?

08:15 , Lydia Patrick

It’s day number two of three of the royal state visit in France and King Charles is set to make history today.

For the first time ever, the monarch will address the French Senate where he will discuss the important 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.

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.

Next, they will visit the fire-damaged Notre Dame Cathedral and the Paris flower market named after his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

King Charles and Macron in black-tie for the lavish state dinner last night (AFP via Getty Images)
King Charles and Macron in black-tie for the lavish state dinner last night (AFP via Getty Images)

09:30 King Charles delivers speech at French Senate 10:45 King Charles and Queen Camilla meet young people and sports stars in Saint-Denis13:10 King Charles visits a Paris flower market and Notre Dame17:45 Macron and King Charles meet at Elysee to say goodbye

Live updates will resume tomorrow

Wednesday 20 September 2023 22:35 , Tara Cobham

Live updates on King Charles and Queen Camilla’s three-day state visit to France will resume on Wednesday.

In the meantime, follow The Independent’s homepage for the latest coverage.

In pictures: Lavish state banquet where Charles and Camilla are guests of honour

Wednesday 20 September 2023 21:16 , Tara Cobham

French President Emmanuel Macron (R) is handed a glass before his speech (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
French President Emmanuel Macron (R) is handed a glass before his speech (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
French President Emmanuel Macron (R) and Britain's King Charles III drink after toasting (EPA)
French President Emmanuel Macron (R) and Britain's King Charles III drink after toasting (EPA)
King Charles III delivers a speech at the State Banquet at the Palace of Versailles (PA)
King Charles III delivers a speech at the State Banquet at the Palace of Versailles (PA)
Britain's Queen Camilla attends a state dinner in the Hall of Mirrors at the Chateau de Versailles (AP)
Britain's Queen Camilla attends a state dinner in the Hall of Mirrors at the Chateau de Versailles (AP)

Charles tells of ‘firm friendship’ between nations at state banquet

Wednesday 20 September 2023 20:57 , Tara Cobham

Speaking at the state banquet, the King also said relations between the UK and France have not always been "straightforward", but went on to stress the unity between the nations.

Charles went on to mention the importance of Britain working with France to tackle climate change.

He went on: "Mr President, in all of this we can rely on our firm friendship, which is renewed and reinvigorated with each new generation.

"I would like, if you would allow me, to raise a toast to President and Madame Macron and to the French people, as well as to our entente cordiale - a sustainable alliance.

"Whatever lies ahead, may it endure, faithful and constant, for centuries to come."

Well-known faces of English football, including former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, ex-Chelsea striker Didier Drogba and Patrick Vieira, who played for Arsenal and managed Crystal Palace, were also in attendance.

Guests dined on lobster, Bresse chicken and cheese.

Camilla dazzled in a midnight blue silk crepe dress and matching cape by Dior, and wore sapphire and diamonds inherited from the late Queen.

French President Emmanuel Macron, right, and Britain's King Charles III toast during a state dinner in the Hall of Mirrors at the Chateau de Versailles in Versailles (AP)
French President Emmanuel Macron, right, and Britain's King Charles III toast during a state dinner in the Hall of Mirrors at the Chateau de Versailles in Versailles (AP)

Celebrities join King and Queen for dinner at Versailles

Wednesday 20 September 2023 20:53 , Tara Cobham

Celebrities including Hugh Grant and Mick Jagger joined King Charles III and Queen Camilla at a banquet at the Palace of Versailles on Wednesday 20 September.

The monarch has made a state visit to Paris and Bordeaux six months after his trip had to be rescheduled because of widespread rioting across the country.

Charles and Camilla were the guests of honour at a black-tie state banquet hosted by Emmanuel Macron in the Palace of Versailles’ Hall of Mirrors on Wednesday night.

French-British actress Charlotte Gainsbourg was also on the star-studded guest list alongside Grant and Jagger.

Oliver Browning reports:

Hugh Grant and Mick Jagger join King and Queen for dinner at Versailles

Charles speaks movingly about his mother’s ties to France

Wednesday 20 September 2023 20:51 , Tara Cobham

The King has spoken movingly about his mother's ties to France as he told of the "firm friendship" between the nations at the state banquet in Paris.

Charles told the president: "Your generosity of spirit brings to mind how my family and I were so greatly moved by the tributes paid in France to my mother, the late Queen, whose funeral took place one year ago yesterday.

"Mr President, among the many profoundly moving gestures here, the flying of the Union flag at the Elysee was particularly poignant.

"Your words, at that time, meant a great dealt to us too. You said that she had touched your hearts - and it was she who held France in the greatest affection, as, of course, did my grandmother Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.

"My parents' first official visit together was to France in 1948, shortly after their wedding.

"By all accounts, they made quite a splash, dancing till the early hours at the glamourous Chez Carrere in the Rue Pierre Charron, serenaded by Edith Piaf.

"I suspect it may have left an indelible impression on me, even six months before I was born - La Vie En Rose is one of my favourite songs to this day."

King Charles III delivers a speech at the State Banquet at the Palace of Versailles, Paris, during the state visit to France (PA)
King Charles III delivers a speech at the State Banquet at the Palace of Versailles, Paris, during the state visit to France (PA)

Charles, Camilla and the Macrons arrive at state banquet

Wednesday 20 September 2023 20:10 , Tara Cobham

King Charles, Queen Camilla, President Emmanuel Macron and Brigitte Macron have arrived at the lavish state banquet at the Palace of Versailles’.

On Wednesday evening, Charles and Camilla will be guests of honour at a black-tie state banquet hosted by the Macrons in the Palace of Versailles' Hall of Mirrors.

Both the King and Mr Macron will address the 160 guests, who will include high-profile figures chosen for their contribution to UK-France relations.

 (via REUTERS)
(via REUTERS)
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

King Charles and Queen Camilla’s day so far

Wednesday 20 September 2023 20:00 , Tara Cobham

The pair arrived at the Elysee together by car, closely followed by the Queen and the president's wife Brigitte Macron.

The couples exchanged pleasantries as they stood at the end of a red carpet in the palace courtyard, laughing together. Mr Macron appeared particularly animated, chatting with the gathered media.

As they entered Mr Macron's lavishly decorated office, Charles jokingly asked if the waiting photographers were always there.

The King and president left the building, deep in conversation, to plant an oak tree which was also given by Mr Macron.

Camilla wore a dusky pink, wool crepe coat-dress by Fiona Clare, and a pink beret-style hat by milliner Philip Treacy.

The couple had earlier landed at Paris Orly airport, where they were greeted with a guard of honour from an officer and 20 guardsmen of the Republican Guard, which is part of the French National Gendarmerie.

They then attended a ceremony of remembrance and wreath-laying at the Arc de Triomphe in the centre of the capital.

Charles symbolically lit the monument's eternal flame, which burns in memory of those who died in the First and Second World Wars. It was the first time in 30 years the ceremony has been included in a state visit.

Charles and Camilla were seen exchanging warm words with Mr and Mrs Macron throughout the ceremony.

The French and British national anthems were played and there was a flypast by the Patrouille de France and Red Arrows before the couples travelled down the Champs Elysees by car.

In Pictures: Guests arriving at Versailles Palace for state banquet

Wednesday 20 September 2023 19:15 , Tara Cobham

Paralympic athlete Marie-Amelie Le Fur arrives to attend a state banquet at the Palace of Versailles (AFP via Getty Images)
Paralympic athlete Marie-Amelie Le Fur arrives to attend a state banquet at the Palace of Versailles (AFP via Getty Images)
Chairman and CEO of Christian Dior Couture Delphine Arnault, founder and chairman of Iliad Xavier Niel arrive to attend a state dinner (REUTERS)
Chairman and CEO of Christian Dior Couture Delphine Arnault, founder and chairman of Iliad Xavier Niel arrive to attend a state dinner (REUTERS)
French actress and singer Charlotte Gainsbourg arrives to attend a state banquet at the Palace of Versailles (AFP via Getty Images)
French actress and singer Charlotte Gainsbourg arrives to attend a state banquet at the Palace of Versailles (AFP via Getty Images)
Didier Drogba and Gabrielle Lemaire arrive to attend a state dinner in honor of Britain's King Charles and Queen Camilla (REUTERS)
Didier Drogba and Gabrielle Lemaire arrive to attend a state dinner in honor of Britain's King Charles and Queen Camilla (REUTERS)

Guests arrive at Versailles Palace for state banquet

Wednesday 20 September 2023 18:34 , Tara Cobham

On Wednesday evening, Charles and Camilla will be guests of honour at a black tie state banquet hosted by the Macrons in the Palace of Versailles' Hall of Mirrors.

Both the King and Mr Macron will address the 160 guests, who will include high-profile figures chosen for their contribution to UK-France relations.

Rolling Stones band member Mick Jagger and Melanie Hamrick arrive to attend a state dinner in honor of Britain's King Charles and Queen Camilla at the Chateau de Versailles (REUTERS)
Rolling Stones band member Mick Jagger and Melanie Hamrick arrive to attend a state dinner in honor of Britain's King Charles and Queen Camilla at the Chateau de Versailles (REUTERS)
British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and his wife Susannah Cleverly arrive to attend a state dinner in honor of Britain's King Charles and Queen Camilla at the Chateau de Versailles (REUTERS)
British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and his wife Susannah Cleverly arrive to attend a state dinner in honor of Britain's King Charles and Queen Camilla at the Chateau de Versailles (REUTERS)

Watch: Macron welcomes Charles to France with touching video

Wednesday 20 September 2023 18:00 , Tara Cobham

Emmanuel Macron has welcomed King Charles III to France with a touching video tribute.

Charles originally intended to make the trip in March but was forced to postpone due to nationwide protests over unpopular pension reform.

His three-day state visit began on Wednesday 20 September and is meant to highlight the friendship between the two nations with great pomp.

“You visited as a prince, you return as a King. Your Majesty, welcome,” Mr Macron tweeted the morning of his arrival, alongside a short video recounting some of Charles’ previous visits.

Queen Camilla has made the trip to France alongside her husband.

Oliver Browning reports:

Emmanuel Macron welcomes King Charles to France with touching video

Charles and Macron exchange gifts of photo album and gold coin

Wednesday 20 September 2023 17:30 , Tara Cobham

The King has given President Emmanuel Macron a book containing photographs of the pair together as they held talks on the opening day of the state visit to France.

Charles and Camilla are visiting Paris and Bordeaux, six months after the trip had to be rescheduled because of widespread rioting across the country.

As well as the photograph album, the King gave Mr Macron a complete edition of Voltaire's writings when he visited the Elysee Palace, the president's official residence, on Wednesday afternoon.

The works have been edited by Professor Nicholas Cronk, a leading UK academic at Oxford University and director of the Voltaire Foundation.

Started in 1968, the complete works, comprising 205 volumes, was only completed in April 2022 and included Letters on the English, a series of essays by the French Enlightenment writer and philosopher, based on his experiences living in Britain between 1726 and 1729.

In return, Mr Macron gave the King a golden coin featuring Charles's portrait, as well as a prize-winning French novel.

In pictures: Charles and Camilla at Elysée Palace

Wednesday 20 September 2023 17:00 , Tara Cobham

King Charles III (right) walks with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace, Paris, during the state visit to France (Hannah McKay/PA Wire)
King Charles III (right) walks with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace, Paris, during the state visit to France (Hannah McKay/PA Wire)
King Charles III and Queen Camilla, at the Elysee Palace, Paris, for a meeting, during the state visit to France (Hannah McKay/PA Wire)
King Charles III and Queen Camilla, at the Elysee Palace, Paris, for a meeting, during the state visit to France (Hannah McKay/PA Wire)
King Charles III and Queen Camilla with French President Emmanuel Macron and wife Brigitte, at the Elysee Palace, Paris, for a meeting, during the state visit to France (Hannah McKay/PA Wire)
King Charles III and Queen Camilla with French President Emmanuel Macron and wife Brigitte, at the Elysee Palace, Paris, for a meeting, during the state visit to France (Hannah McKay/PA Wire)

Royal Family describes monarchs’ ‘incredible’ welcome

Wednesday 20 September 2023 16:35 , Tara Cobham

The Royal Family has described King Charles III and Queen Camilla’s welcome at the Arc de Triomphe as “incredible”.

A video was posted on X of the flypast that greeted the royals, alongside the caption: “An incredible welcome at the Arc de Triomphe to formally kick-off #RoyalVisitFrance! Invited by President @EmmanuelMacron.

“The King symbolically lit the eternal flame, which burns in memory of those who perished in the First and Second World Wars.”

Wednesday 20 September 2023 16:00 , Lydia Patrick

Who is on the star-studded Versailles guest list?

President Macron is hosting an extravagent black-tie banquet for the King and Queen tonight to mark the first day of their three-day state trip.

On the guest-list of 150 guests are some famous faces. Here’s a round-up, as reported in The Mail.

Rock n Roll legend, 80-year-old Mick Jagger

Rolling Stones royalty will join real life royals (Reuters)
Rolling Stones royalty will join real life royals (Reuters)

Bernard Arnault, worth an estimated £178 billion who is head of LVMX luxury goods competitor which includes brands such as Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior

Former Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, 73, will join the guests.

Arsene Wenger is now in charge at Fifa as the Chief of Global Football Development (Getty Images)
Arsene Wenger is now in charge at Fifa as the Chief of Global Football Development (Getty Images)

Iconic British actor, Hugh Grant, 63, who owns a house in France, will be in attendance of the royal soirée.

Hugh Grant is no stranger to global poltics, he starred as the British PM in Love Actually (Universal/Dna/Working Title/Kobal/Shutterstock)
Hugh Grant is no stranger to global poltics, he starred as the British PM in Love Actually (Universal/Dna/Working Title/Kobal/Shutterstock)

Tree planting

Wednesday 20 September 2023 15:40 , Lydia Patrick

Once the King and President have exchanged gifts, the leaders will plant trees in a tradition started by the late Queen, report the Telegraph.

Queen Elizabeth II holding a bouquet of flowers, and French President Georges Pompidou and wife Claude Pompidou pose after a luncheon given in the Queen's honor at the Elysee palace (AP1972)
Queen Elizabeth II holding a bouquet of flowers, and French President Georges Pompidou and wife Claude Pompidou pose after a luncheon given in the Queen's honor at the Elysee palace (AP1972)

Le Menu

Wednesday 20 September 2023 15:36 , Lydia Patrick

A lavish banquet is to be held in the Hall of Mirrors of the Palace of Versailles tonight to celebrate the arrival of Charles and Camilla.

Here is what’s on the menu, as reported by The Mail.

Starter: Blue lobster and pot crab with a veil of fresh almonds and peppermint

Main Course: Bresse chicken with corn and a porcini mushroom gratin

Cheese: 30-month-old Comté, Stichelton English blue

Desert: Isfahan Persian macaroon

The gourmet dishes will be cooked by a star-studded selection of top chefs, including Anne-Sophie Pic, the only French chef with three Michelin stars.

For drinks, the world leaders will enjoy wines costing over £400 a bottle, including Pol Roger Cuvée Winston Churchill 2013 Champagne, report The Mail.

His Majesty and Macron inside the Palace de Versailles (Getty Images)
His Majesty and Macron inside the Palace de Versailles (Getty Images)

Reactions amongst the crowds

Wednesday 20 September 2023 15:26 , Lydia Patrick

Tourists line the Parisian streets as they watch the royal spectacle unfold as King Charles and Queen Camilla begin their three-day state visit.

Rozalie Zackova, a 28-year-old Czech who works in marketing in Paris told Reuters: “I like the royal family, because it’s something out of reach, it makes you dream, they have a special status. And also for the gossip!”

Her colleague Siham Bakali, 31, less fascinated by the king, said to Reuters she mostly wanted to see the flyover of both nations.

Joseph Gavois, 79, retired, said to Reuters: “I’ve come to see the king of England, because he’s paying us a visit and we should salute him. It’s an honour he’s doing us!

But Gavois complained that with so much security, he was unable to see the royal couple very well when they drove past him.

Some were more excited than others about the arrival of King Charles (PA)
Some were more excited than others about the arrival of King Charles (PA)

Parisian woman hits back at those sceptical about the visit

Wednesday 20 September 2023 15:22 , Lydia Patrick

France is a nation notoriously wary of monarchs, but lots of Parisians have warmed to the arrival of the King and Queen.

“I’ve never seen a king parade on the Champs-Elysees!” 62-year-old employee Marie-Noëlle Ahanso said as they drove by.

“People will talk, people will complain (about the expense). But he’s worthy of being received at Versailles, I don’t see what the problem is. What’s more, he’s an environment-focused king, he doesn’t eat foie gras. In any case, the French complain all the time!”

Tourists lined the streets awaiting the arrival of the King (Getty Images)
Tourists lined the streets awaiting the arrival of the King (Getty Images)

In Pictures: The first day so far

Wednesday 20 September 2023 15:11 , Lydia Patrick

Brigitte Macron and Queen Camilla talk after a ceremonial welcome at The Arc De Triomphe (via REUTERS)
Brigitte Macron and Queen Camilla talk after a ceremonial welcome at The Arc De Triomphe (via REUTERS)
King Charles greets fans after remembrance ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe (EPA)
King Charles greets fans after remembrance ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe (EPA)
The quartet arrive at the Palace of Versailles where they will have a black-tie dinner (AP)
The quartet arrive at the Palace of Versailles where they will have a black-tie dinner (AP)

The leaders to exchange rare gifts

Wednesday 20 September 2023 15:07 , Lydia Patrick

King Charles will present President Macron with special gifts, including Voltaire’s Lettres sur les Anglais - a series of essays written by Voltaire based on his experiences living in Great Britain.

He will also give the King a gold coin minted with his drawing, and a painting of Queen Victoria, report the Telegraph.

The leaders will exchange gifts at the Palace of Versailles (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
The leaders will exchange gifts at the Palace of Versailles (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

What’s on the menu for the gourmet banquet?

Wednesday 20 September 2023 15:00 , Lydia Patrick

France, the official country of fromage, will pay homage to their guest country and will put a British blue cheese on the menu.

Fitting with the blue theme, blue lobster also features on the menu.

The state dinner will take place in the spectacular Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles and the guests will wear black-tie.

Cabrales blue cheese (IMV/Getty Images)
Cabrales blue cheese (IMV/Getty Images)

Charles and Camilla arrive at Elysées Palace

Wednesday 20 September 2023 14:49 , Lydia Patrick

The King and Queen have arrived at Elysées Palace before they head to the Palace of Versailles for a black-tie dinner.

Blue lobster and a selection of French and English cheeses will feature on the gourmet menu.

More than 150 guests have been invited to the banquet, including British actor Hugh Grant, rock star Mick Jagger, former Arsenal football coach Arsene Wenger, French soccer star Didier Drogba, as well as French billionaire Bernard Arnault.

The royals have arrived at the Palace of Versailles (REUTERS)
The royals have arrived at the Palace of Versailles (REUTERS)

Charles and Camilla will attend glitzy black tie banquet

Wednesday 20 September 2023 14:39 , Lydia Patrick

Charles and Camilla will be guests of honour at a grand black- tie state banquet hosted by Mr and Mrs Macron in the splendour of the Palace of Versailles’ Hall of Mirrors.

Both the King and Mr Macron will address the 160 guests, who will include high-profile figures chosen for their contribution to UK-France relations.

Celebrity guests who have confirmed their attendance include Hugh Grant, Mick Jagger and former French football coach Arsene Wenger.

Queen Camilla sported a dusky pink suit (PA)
Queen Camilla sported a dusky pink suit (PA)

King Charles and President Macron share touching moment watching flypast at Arc De Triomphe

Wednesday 20 September 2023 14:26 , Lydia Patrick

Jets with red white and blue vapour trails fly overhead in impressive ceremony

Wednesday 20 September 2023 14:07 , Lydia Patrick

Military jets flew over the Arc de Triomphe emitting the colours of both nations - red, white and blue.

After listening to the two national anthems, Charles and Macron proceeded to a review of the troops.

King Charles III and President of France, Emmanuel Macron At the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (via REUTERS)
King Charles III and President of France, Emmanuel Macron At the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (via REUTERS)

They placed a wreath on the tomb of the unknown soldier, and Charles rekindled the eternal flame.

A warm welcome - President Macron greets King Charles and Queen Camilla at Arc de Triomphe, France

Wednesday 20 September 2023 13:58 , Lydia Patrick

King Charles and Queen Camilla arrive at Arc de Triomphe

Wednesday 20 September 2023 13:55 , Lydia Patrick

President Emmanuel Macron and wife Brigitte Macron greet King Charles III and Queen Camilla in a lavish arrival ceremony.

A warm welcome to the King and Queen (AFP via Getty Images)
A warm welcome to the King and Queen (AFP via Getty Images)

In pictures: The King and Queen arrive

Wednesday 20 September 2023 13:46 , Lydia Patrick

Charles and Camilla had to withstand the wind as they stepped off the plane onto the red-carpet runway.

The King and Queen arrived in Paris at 2pm French time (via REUTERS)
The King and Queen arrived in Paris at 2pm French time (via REUTERS)
Charles went ahead as Camilla fixed her hat (PA)
Charles went ahead as Camilla fixed her hat (PA)
Mind the step - King Charles waited for Queen Camilla as they disembarked the aircraft (PA)
Mind the step - King Charles waited for Queen Camilla as they disembarked the aircraft (PA)

What we know so far about the trip

Wednesday 20 September 2023 13:35 , Lydia Patrick

The majority of the original royal programme has been retained but a few new exciting elements have been added, including a literaty prize and celebrity guests.

Camilla and Mrs Macron are set to launch a new Franco-British literary prize at the Bibliotheque Nationale de France.

The King will become the first British monarch to give a speech from France’s senate chamber to senators and national assembly members on Thursday.

Other highlights include the royal couple meeting sports stars as France hosts the Rugby World Cup.

Charles and Camilla will meet the French National team (Reuters)
Charles and Camilla will meet the French National team (Reuters)

When the couple travel to Bordeaux, home to 39,000 Britons, they will meet UK and French military personnel to hear about how the two nations are collaborating on defence.

What’s first on the agenda?

Wednesday 20 September 2023 13:21 , Lydia Patrick

The King and Queen are due to meet up with Mr 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.

As part of the ceremony, Charles 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 Wars.

Afterwards, the foursome will process down the Champs Elysees by car towards the Elysee Palace, the president’s official residence, where Charles and Mr Macron will sit down for talks.

Pretty in pink

Wednesday 20 September 2023 13:15 , Lydia Patrick

French Prime Minister Elizabeth Borne greets King Charles III and Queen Camilla as they get off the plane.

Pink appears to be the colour of choice as Queen Camilla sports a dusky pink suit and Ms Borne dons a fuchsia jacket.

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne (L) greets Britain’s King Charles III (C) and Britain’s Queen Camilla (R) upon arrival at the Orly Airport on September 20, 2023 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne (L) greets Britain’s King Charles III (C) and Britain’s Queen Camilla (R) upon arrival at the Orly Airport on September 20, 2023 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

King Charles III and Queen Camilla touch down in Paris

Wednesday 20 September 2023 13:11 , Lydia Patrick

The King and Queen have landed at Paris-Orly airport and have to fight off the wind as they walk down the stairs to be greeted by French Republican Guards.

Camilla is sporting an all pink suit with a hat and Charles appears in a navy suit.

French Republican Guards stand beside the red carpet prior to the arrival of Britain's King Charles III and Britain's Queen Camilla (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
French Republican Guards stand beside the red carpet prior to the arrival of Britain's King Charles III and Britain's Queen Camilla (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
The aircraft transporting Britain's King Charles and Britain's Queen Camilla lands at the Orly Airport (via REUTERS)
The aircraft transporting Britain's King Charles and Britain's Queen Camilla lands at the Orly Airport (via REUTERS)

Watch live - King Charles and Camilla arrive in France

Wednesday 20 September 2023 12:53 , Lydia Patrick

Macron shares heartfelt welcome to King Charles III

Wednesday 20 September 2023 12:46 , Lydia Patrick

In pictures: Paris prepares for the arrival of King Charles III

Wednesday 20 September 2023 12:38 , Lydia Patrick

The Champs-Elysées is decorated with French and British flags (AP)
The Champs-Elysées is decorated with French and British flags (AP)

King Charles to dine with Hugh Grant and Mick Jagger tonight at state dinner in Paris

Wednesday 20 September 2023 12:29 , Athena Stavrou

Later today, King Charles will attend a star studded state dinner in the Hall of Mirrors of the Place of Versailles.

150 guests are set to be in attendance. Stars confirmed to have been invited include Hugh Grant, Mick Jagger and former French football coach Arsene Wenger.

Hugh Grant is among the list of stars confirmed to have been invited to a state dinner with King Charles tonight in Paris (PA Archive)
Hugh Grant is among the list of stars confirmed to have been invited to a state dinner with King Charles tonight in Paris (PA Archive)

Parisians 'unimpressed’ by King Charles III’s visit

Wednesday 20 September 2023 11:30 , Lydia Patrick

Parisians have expressed their bemusement as King Charles III embarks on his three-day state visit, missing Queen Elizabeth II’s glamour, say Reuters.

Retiree 88-year-old Mireille Mauve told Reuters: “He’s just the son, they are old already, we don’t have a long history,” retiree Mireille Mauve said.

His wife is “not so enchanting, she’s a bit dull with her discourse. All this combined together doesn’t create much interest,” said the 88-year old, who liked Queen Elizabeth and her horses.”

Britain's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, centre, sit with France's President Albert Lebrun, right, and his wife Mme. Lebrun, left, by the lake at Bagatelle, Paris, France, July 20, 1938, (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Britain's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, centre, sit with France's President Albert Lebrun, right, and his wife Mme. Lebrun, left, by the lake at Bagatelle, Paris, France, July 20, 1938, (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

‘Charly in Paris'

Wednesday 20 September 2023 10:54 , Lydia Patrick

French newspaper Libération poked fun at Charles III by comparing him to the protagonist of a popular Netflix TV show people love to hate, Emily in Paris.

The image showed an iconic Parisian scene made pink with Charles and Emmanuel Macron standing in front of the Eiffel Tower.

The King and Queen (PA) (PA Wire)
The King and Queen (PA) (PA Wire)
The paper joking cast allusions between the three-day state visit and Emily in Paris (STEPHANIE BRANCHU/NETFLIX)
The paper joking cast allusions between the three-day state visit and Emily in Paris (STEPHANIE BRANCHU/NETFLIX)

What is the reason for the three-day state visit?

Wednesday 20 September 2023 10:24 , Lydia Patrick

France and the United Kingdom have a longstanding neighbourly bond - the trip is a chance to reassert the countries’ friendship post-Brexit disputes.

The French presidency said the visit will be a chance to showcase the deep historical ties uniting the two countries and an opportunity to share France’s cultural, artistic and gastronomic ‘excellence’, report AP.

UK Prime Minsiter Rishi Sunak and French President Emmanuel Macron came together in March 2023 to strengthen military efforts and address migration issues in a bilateral summit.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is to stay in close contact with Emmanuel Macron and other leaders (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is to stay in close contact with Emmanuel Macron and other leaders (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)

A look back at Queen Elizabeth’s France trips in pictures

Wednesday 20 September 2023 10:14 , Lydia Patrick

Queen Elizabeth II holding a bouquet of flowers, and French President Georges Pompidou and wife Claude Pompidou pose after a luncheon given in the Queen's honor at the Elysee palace in Paris on May 15, 1972 (AP1972)
Queen Elizabeth II holding a bouquet of flowers, and French President Georges Pompidou and wife Claude Pompidou pose after a luncheon given in the Queen's honor at the Elysee palace in Paris on May 15, 1972 (AP1972)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II is greeted by French President Jacques Chirac on the Champs Elysees in Paris Monday, April 5, 2004 (AP)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II is greeted by French President Jacques Chirac on the Champs Elysees in Paris Monday, April 5, 2004 (AP)
France's President Francois Hollande, left, and Britain's Queen Elizabeth II take part in a ceremony on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France, Thursday, June 5, 2014 (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
France's President Francois Hollande, left, and Britain's Queen Elizabeth II take part in a ceremony on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France, Thursday, June 5, 2014 (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Thursday’s itinerary

Wednesday 20 September 2023 10:08 , Lydia Patrick

Here is a rundown of what the King, Queen and French President are expected to get up to tomorrow.

  • First Charles will address French lawmakers at the Senate.

  • He will later rejoin Macron in front of Notre-Dame Cathedral to see the ongoing renovation work aimed at reopening the monument by the end of next year.

  • Charles and Macron will also both attend a reception for British and French business leaders about financing climate-related and biodiversity projects.

Emmanuel Macron will be joined by the British royals as they spend three days in France (PA)
Emmanuel Macron will be joined by the British royals as they spend three days in France (PA)

Why was the first trip postponed?

Wednesday 20 September 2023 09:56 , Lydia Patrick

King Charles III and Queen Camilla were supposed to visit France six months ago however, wide spread disruption across the country delayed the visit.

France descended into chaos as riots broke out when French President Emmanuel Macron raised the retirement age from 62 to 64.

The national uproar meant the royals had to delay their visit (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
The national uproar meant the royals had to delay their visit (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Charles and Camilla headed to France for state visit

Wednesday 20 September 2023 09:41 , Sam Rkaina

Charles and Camilla are visiting France today in a state visit delayed due to riot earlier in the year.

Here is everything we know about the itinerary so far.

King Charles and Camilla will arrive in France today (PA)
King Charles and Camilla will arrive in France today (PA)

Wednesday

  • Charles and Queen Camilla will be greeted by Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne at Paris-Orly airport, before heading to the city centre

  • A spectacular ceremony will take place at the Arc de Triomphe, both nations’ and a wreath will be laid down at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as jet fighters of the Patrouille de France and Britain’s Red Arrows fly above.

  • Macron and Charles will hold a bilateral meeting to discuss the protection of biodiversity and global warming. They will also discuss issues such as Russia’s war in Ukraine and migration in Southern Italy.

  • They will end the day with a state dinner in the Hall of Mirrors of the Place of Versailles where 150 guests will be in attendance.