For the first time the British Embassy’s annual Queen’s Birthday Party (QBP) is going entirely online and the whole British community in France is invited to attend.
Due to Covid the Embassy says it is having to reinvent how it performs its diplomatic role – including its annual QBP celebration in June, one of the high points of its calendar.
This time, to combine its usual welcome towards French contacts with outreach to the British community, it is hosting one virtual QBP on Tuesday June 22 by invitation and then a second public one with different themes on Thursday June 24.
All Britons in France are invited to this one-off event from 17:00 to 20:00. Pre-registration is essential, at this link.
The party will be run via a dedicated website and will be a mixture of pre-recorded content and live events. The Embassy hopes to create an enjoyable experience for attendees, with content ranging from images from all the Queen’s visits to France to cocktail mixing masterclasses and an interview with Sir David Attenborough.
At the same time it will be passing on practical tips, including concerning the necessity to apply by June 30 for a Withdrawal Agreement residency card.
An Embassy spokeswoman told The Connexion they hope the party will reach some of those who have been unaware of the obligatory requirements because they are so immersed in their French life or who have been putting off thinking about it.
Ambassador Ed Llewellyn said: “Due to Covid-19 we are unable to hold our traditional garden party to celebrate the Queen’s Birthday at the Residence this year. So we decided to move the event online, which gives us the opportunity to also open up a special event focused on British citizens in France.
“My team have organised interactive sessions on applying for residency permits, how to sign up for the French healthcare system, the latest information on driving licences and an opportunity to learn more about the wider work of the Embassy in France.
“Other sessions will also include a special interview filmed with David Attenborough and me, a quiz about the UK and France and much more.
“With two weeks to go until the June 30 deadline to apply for a residency card, I hope that many British citizens will join us for this one-off event”.
The spokeswoman said the website will represent a virtual version of the Ambassador’s residence, near the Elysée on rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.
“They can walk around the residence and see some of the best of British,” she said.
“There is some on-demand content, with a strong sustainability theme because of the Cop26 conference [climate change event in Glasgow in November], lots about the royals, and certain items at specific times, such as the Ambassador’s speech and his interview with David Attenborough.
“It’s also possible to meet with other attendees screen-to-screen.”
She added that the event can also be seen as launching the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year in 2022 and well as looking ahead to Cop26.
“This is also the year in which the Duke of Edinburgh would have turned 100. There will be a Royals Room with all the images from the Queen’s official visits to France on which she was always accompanied by him and there will be a memorial video about his work on the Duke of Edinburgh’s Scheme.”