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Saturday 24 September 2022
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King Charles could travel to France for first state visit as monarch

Reports suggest that the UK Foreign Office is finalising plans for the trip, after President Macron invited the King to the Élysée

The then Prince Charles at the Paris COP21 conference on climate change Pic: Frederic Legrand - COMEO / Shutterstock

King Charles III may make France the destination for his first state visit as soon as next month.

The UK Foreign Office is said to be finalising plans for the trip in the hope that it will help to strengthen diplomatic ties with the country in the post-Brexit landscape, The Telegraph reports. 

The tour may also include Germany, and would be the first state visit from a British monarch in seven years because of Queen Elizabeth II’s restricted mobility in the later years of her life. 

Visiting France could give the King the opportunity to highlight an African tree-planting scheme which aims to contribute to the fight against climate change, and which he supported along with President Emmanuel Macron.

The Telegraph reports that the president could take King Charles to see an exhibition on this project, which is called the Great Green Wall and which will seek to create a 30-mile-wide line of trees across Africa. 

The two men met on Sunday (September 18) at a Buckingham Palace reception for world leaders ahead of the Queen’s funeral, following a telephone conversation the previous week.

At the time, the Élysée stated that: “The head of state presented his sincere condolences to the King and expressed his full support for him. 

“He spoke of the sadness of French people at the news of Queen Elizabeth II’s death, and said that their thoughts are with the British people.”

Read also: Macron pays tribute to the Queen: ‘We all feel an emptiness’

He also “wished the greatest success for the King, and said he is fully available to pursue the work they have begun together over recent years in the face of common challenges, starting with the climate and the planet.”

Mr Macron has already invited the King to the Élysée “when it suits him”.

The last time the then Prince Charles visited France was in 2018, when he went to Lyon and Nice, where he paid tribute to the victims of the July 14 terror attacks.

The King also met the French president at the COP26 summit in Glasgow last year.

Australia and New Zealand are expected to be the first Commonwealth countries to receive a state visit next year. King Charles visited Canada in May, but has not been to Australia since 2018.

The Queen made her first state visit to France as monarch in 1957, when she was welcomed by the then president René Coty. 

Read more: Seven facts about the Queen’s relationship with France

Related articles 

French postal service pays tribute to Queen with collector stamps

Queen won hearts in France with first speech in French at 22

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