France primed for King Charles III’s first state visit in September

An earlier trip in March was postponed due to pension reform protests

It will be the King’s first visit to France as Monarch
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Plans are reported to be underway for King Charles III and Queen Camilla to make their first state visit to France in September.

No precise dates have been announced but it is expected to be in the latter half of the month, according to the French public service media FranceInfo.

It will be Charles III’s first official visit to France as king after he was forced to postpone an earlier trip in March due to violent protests surrounding France’s pension reform bill that were taking place during the scheduled dates.

The visit was set to be the King’s first overseas state visit as monarch before moving on to Germany. In effect he travelled straight to Germany.

Agenda still to be decided

The trip will take place around six months after the original visiting dates (March 26 - 29), with many predicting that he will arrive in Paris on September 20.

The previous agenda was to include time in Paris and Bordeaux. The latter’s town hall was set ablaze during protests over the pension reform, shortly before the postponement of the visit was made official.

The King had originally wanted to visit Notre-Dame Cathedral during the visit, said general Jean-Louis Georgelin, the man in charge of rebuilding the iconic cathedral, to The Connexion earlier this year.

Read more: France will win Notre-Dame rebuild challenge, says general in charge

Although a visit was not possible as part of March’s original schedule, it could be added to the itinerary for September.

The agenda for the visit has not yet been announced but it is expected that the monarch will spend time in Paris and Bordeaux, as featured in March’s original plans.

A reception at the Élysée Palace and dinner at Versailles from the original schedule are also expected to remain.

The visit will look to continue reforging the friendship between the two countries, which began with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s summit with President Macron earlier this year.

Read more: Nine million French viewers for Coronation’s ‘royal fête des voisins’

King is a Francophile

Like his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, Charles III is a Francophile – choosing France as his first overseas state visit was no coincidence, even if the plans had to be scrapped.

The upcoming visit will be his first as King, but Charles has spent an extensive amount of time in the country, both whilst undertaking official duties as the Prince of Wales and for personal leisure time.

Below you can see a video of him speaking French during a visit to Canada:

“The King can speak perfect French. He learnt it during his time at Cambridge University,” said French expert on the British Monarchy Kévin Guillot.

Queen Camilla is also fluent in French, studying both French language and Literature at the University of London institute in Paris.

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