France’s ‘most British airport’ to be renamed after Queen Elizabeth II

The prefect said that the late Queen was a symbol of ‘commitment, respect, and constancy’ for the town, which has ‘unbreakable links with the UK’

A photo of the terminal and control tower at Le Touquet Airport, France
Le Touquet airport has been dubbed ‘France’s most British’ due to its links with British holidaymakers
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The airport of Touquet Paris-Plage (Hauts-de-France), dubbed “the most British of France’s airports”, is set to be renamed after the late Queen Elizabeth II.

The town of Touquet announced the change as a means to honour the late monarch, who died on Thursday, September 8 at the age of 96.

Read more: ‘We loved her so much’: France reacts to news of the Queen’s death

In a statement, the town said: "The town of Le Touquet-Paris-Plage wishes to name its airport after the woman who, for 70 years, served her country with commitment, respect, and constancy, while at the same time always being attentive to the good relations between our two nations, as she spoke French and appreciated our country.”

The town said that it has “unbreakable links with the United Kingdom”, a “cross-channel friendship”, and has called itself “the most British of French resorts”, as many British tourists choose it for their holidays.

The late Queen Elizabeth visited the Pas-de-Calais town years ago with her uncle Edward VIII, and went horse riding and sand yachting.

Read more: ‘Surprised, touched’: our French neighbours’ kindness at Queen’s death

French visits and ‘symbolic bedroom’

Queen Elizabeth II had close links with France, and was one of her favourite destinations.

She even had ‘her own bedroom’ in Bayeux, Normandy, which was created for her visit on June 6, 1994, for the 50th anniversary of the Normandy landings. It was created in the style of Louis XV with royal furniture from the Petit Trianon.

There was also a room made up for Prince Philip, royal officials, and then-Prime Minister John Major.

The queen used the room to change, freshen up, and eat some fruit as a snack, and rested for around 30 minutes before heading to lunch at Omaha Beach with President Mitterrand.

The deputy prefect, Yann Paris, said: “She was a very simple woman. Everyone was shaking a bit about the idea of her coming here, but her presence, so calm, meant that everything went well.”

The queen came to Normandy four times to commemorate the landings – in 1984, 1994, 2004, and 2014. On the morning of June 6, 1994, she visited the graves of the British cemetery in Bayeux, the first liberated town in France.

Read more: Normandy Landings visit for Queen

The queen’s bedroom is still there, as it was. “We haven’t touched it,” said Mr Paris. “Since 1994, it’s been really symbolic. The general public does not have access to it, even if they ask during open days.”

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