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ABC News: King Charles III, Queen Camilla arrive in France for three-day state visit

21-9-2023 |

King Charles III is to address French lawmakers, meet with sports groups in the northern suburbs of Paris and pay a visit to fire-damaged Notre-Dame cathedral Thursday, on the second day of his state visit to France.

The first day of Charles and Camilla’s trip started with a ceremony at Paris' Arc de Triomphe and a state dinner at the Palace of Versailles on Wednesday.

Benoit Tessier, AFP

Charles praised France’s welcome and added: “It is incumbent upon us all to reinvigorate our friendship to ensure it is fit for the challenges of this, the 21st century.”

The king is to make a speech Thursday at the Senate in front of lawmakers from both the upper and the lower house of parliament.

Charles and Camilla will then head to Saint-Denis, north of Paris, to meet community sports groups and stars as France currently hosts the Rugby World Cup.

Saint-Denis, a multicultural, working-class suburb, will serve as a major venue in next year’s Olympics. It is also home to the basilica that houses the tombs of French kings.

Charles will later visit the Paris' flower market named after Queen Elizabeth II and 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, after it was devastated by a fire in 2019.

“I look forward to visiting that magnificent cathedral ... to see how centuries-old crafts have been revived and passed onto apprentices who are helping to restore Notre-Dame to its former glory,” he said in Versailles.

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

The king will end his trip on Friday with a stop in Bordeaux, the southwestern city that is home to a large British community.

Constitutionally, British monarchs must keep their distance from politics, but as two head of state the discussions are expected to be wide-ranging covering international affairs, including North Africa and Ukraine, and artificial intelligence, a French adviser told Politico.

Source: ABC News