top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
arrow down

President Macron welcomed at first Trump state dinner

President Emmanuel Macron has been welcomed at a lavish state dinner at the White House by US President Donald Trump, alongside a guest list that included the French astronaut Thomas Pesquet and LVMH boss Bernard Arnault.

Macron, who is currently on an official three-day state visit to the United States, was welcomed along with his wife Brigitte, to the White House in the company of President Trump and his wife Melania.

It was the first official state dinner held by President Trump, and intended to honour the relationship between the United States and France, which has existed since their cooperation during the US Revolutionary War.

Ahead of the dinner, the Macrons joined the Trumps to plant a tree on the South Lawn of the White House. This was a symbolic European sessile oak from a French World War I battle site, Belleau Wood (le Bois Belleau in Aisne, Hauts-de-France), on which almost 10,000 Americans died or were injured.

Over 500 members of the US military also gathered on the White House South Lawn to welcome the Macrons to dinner, as part of the official Arrival Ceremony.

Melania Trump wore a hand-painted silver Chanel gown, to “pay homage” to the haute-couture history of France.

During the dinner itself, guests dined on a menu prepared by White House chef Cristeta Comerford.

There was goat cheese gateau with tomato jam for the starter, spring lamb with Carolina gold rice jambalaya for main course, and nectarine tart and crème fraîche ice cream for dessert.

The food was served alongside a wine flight designed to symbolise American-French relations, including the Domaine Serene Chardonnay Evenstad Reserve 2015, which is grown in Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA, but uses French plants originally from Dijon.

The entertainment was music from the Washington National Opera.

During his toast, President Trump formally welcomed the Macrons, and said: "May our friendship grow even deeper, may our kinship grow even stronger, and may our sacred liberty never die.”

President Trump also thanked the First Lady for organising the event, and for “making this an evening we will always cherish and remember”.

Melania is said to have directed the event, and given a vision of how she expected the evening to turn out.

The 120-person guest list included a host of high-profile American and French names, including Mr Pesquet, and Mr Arnault, chairman of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, along with his wife Hélène.

Also in attendance were Laurence des Cars, director of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris; Laurence Engel, president of the National Library of France; and a select group of French ministers, including Florence Parly, defence minister, and Jean-Yves Le Drian, minister for European and foreign affairs.

Gérard Araud, ambassador of France to the United States, was also there; as was Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

High-profile American and international guests included Tim Cook, chief executive of tech giant Apple; Rupert Murdoch, executive co-chairman of 21st Century Fox, and his partner Jerry Hall; former secretary of state Henry Kissinger; a number of American Olympic gold medallists; and cultural leaders such as Mary Morton, curator of French painting at the American National Gallery of Art.

President Macron’s visit to the USA has also included a helicopter tour of Washington DC, as well as dinner at Mount Vernon, the old home of George Washington and the host house for the Marquis de Lafayette for three years during the Revolutionary War.

Some US commentators have remarked that the two Presidents appear to have a good relationship, with US newspaper the NY Times jokingly dubbing it “le bromance”, and Trump saying “I like him a lot” during a press conference on Tuesday April 24.

As part of the official welcome, the Macrons were gifted a silver Tiffany & Co bowl engraved with the White House seal and the signatures of President Trump and Melania.

They also received a section of upholstery from one of the chairs in the White House Blue Room, which was created by French royal palace designer Pierre-Antoine Bellangé.

Aside from the official celebrations, the Presidents have been discussing some issues of policy. While they agree on some points, one issue of contention is the multinational nuclear deal with Iran.

The Macrons' official visit finishes today (April 25).

Stay informed:
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now