Prepare for le banquet! Celebrities including Hugh Grant begin to arrive for Versailles dinner to mark King Charles and Queen Camilla’s state visit with Mick Jagger and Bernard Arnault also expected to attend
- The King and Queen’s first trip to France was postponed in March due to riots over retirement age reforms
- READ MORE: King Charles and President Macron showed ‘unexpected closeness’ beyond ‘regular small talk’ in France, body language expert reveals
Hugh Grant and Mick Jagger lead the celebrity arrivals heading to the Palace of Versailles this evening for a banquet hosted by President Emmaneul Macron and his wife Brigitte to mark the start of King Charles and Queen Camilla’s three-day State Visit to France.
The star-studded dinner will feature politicians, businessmen and performers alike, including Mick Jagger and Bernard Arnault, the CEO of LVMH and one of the richest men on earth.
British and French celebrities dressed to the nines for the glamourous dinner, with head of Rothschild & Co, David de Rothschild, and his daughter Louise, joining the likes of Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, and Arsene Wegner for the affair.
Earlier today, Charles touched down in Paris and was greeted with shouts of ‘King’ from balconies as he and Camilla received a rapturous welcome upon their arrival.
The King beamed and waved at the adoring crowds as he walked through the streets of Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron before they exchanged gifts with one another and held talks at the Elysee Palace ahead of a lavish state dinner later this evening.
Inside the residence, the King and President met staff and their families and planted a tree in the garden, following a long tradition begun by the late Queen Elizabeth.
In a sign of the warmth of their relationship, Mr Macron had gifted the oak sapling to the King from his Versailles estate and wanted to join him for the ceremonial moment.
The garden already features five trees planted by British Royals, including three by the late Queen. They include a Persian Highwood from her first state visit to France in 1957, a Gingko Biloba from a 1972 visit and a Cork Oak from her final visit to France.
Hugh Grant and Anna Elisabet Eberstein arrive at the Palace of Versailles ahead of the State Dinner held in honor of King Charles III and Queen Camilla
To shouts from onlookers of ‘vive le roi’ the King had a brief walkabout through one of the more exclusive streets of central Paris.
The two men were walking the short distance from the Elysée Palace to the British ambassador’s residence in the Rue du Faubourg St-Honoré just a couple of hundred metres away.
As they started off amid tight security the walk was a sterile business by the standards of British royalty. The street had been closed off to the public, and the only onlookers were office workers peering down from the balconies above. Sporadic applause greeted their progress, polite rather than enthusiastic.
But then, as they neared the residence, real crowds appeared, with real enthusiasm.
The King pointed to them, and the two heads of state looked at each other and said: ‘Shall we say hello?’ – which they duly did.
One woman in the crowd, who shook hands with the King and gave her name as Sophie, from Lyon, said: ‘I came here to see the King and because I think it’s an important and memorable moment for our two countries, especially since Brexit .
‘For my part, it [coming here] was in some sense also a tribute to Queen Elizabeth.’
She added: ‘People here still have an affection for the British crown.’
Charles and Camilla arrived shortly before 2pm on a private chartered flight from Farnborough, travelling on what is dubbed the ‘baby Voyager’ airbus plane to Paris Orly airport, where they were officially welcomed by the French Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, on behalf of President Macron and the French government.
Louise de Rothschild and David de Rothschild arrive at the Palace of Versailles
General managing director of French container transportation and shipping company CMA CGM Rodolphe Saade (L) and French President of the Franco-British Colloque, Pierre-Andre Chalendar, arrive to attend a state banquet at the Palace of Versailles
Guillaume Gallienne and Amandine Gallienne arrive to attend a state dinner in honour of King Charles and Queen Camilla
Alain Minc arrives at the Palace of Versailles ahead of the State Dinner held in honour of King Charles III and Queen Camilla in the Hall of Mirrors
Carole Bouquet arrives at the Palace of Versailles ahead of the State Dinner held in honour of King Charles III and Queen Camilla in the Hall of Mirrors
Former French culture minister Jack Lang (R) and his wife Monique Buczynski (L) pose at the Palace of Versailles before a state banquet hosted by the French president and his wife
Chloé Bouygues and Yannick Bolloré arrive at the Palace of Versailles ahead of the State Dinner
Yael Braun-Pivet, President of the National Assembly, and Vianney Pivet arrive to attend a state dinner in honor of Britain’s King Charles and Queen Camilla at the Chateau de Versailles
Charles was met with cries of ‘King’ from Paris balconies as he and Emmanuel Macron walked through the streets of the French capital together
King Charles smiles warmly as he chats to President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace in Paris on the first day of his state visit
King Charles III laughs as he and French President Macron gather for a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe in the centre of Paris
French President Emmanuel Macron his wife wife Brigitte Macron welcome King Charles III and Queen Camilla for an official welcoming ceremony
They were also received by foreign secretary James Cleverly, the UK’s ambassador to France Dame Menna Rawlings and the French Ambassador to the UK, Hélène Tréheux-Duchêne.
Camilla was a pop of colour in an elegant dusky pink wool crepe coat dress by Fiona Clare, and a pink beret-shaped hat by milliner Philip Treacy, which she held on to tightly due to blustery conditions as they walked along a red carpet, brushed to perfection earlier.
The royals were then whisked off in the State Bentley to the Arc de Triomphe where they were greeted by the President Macron, 45, and his wife Brigitte, 70, for a ceremony of remembrance and wreath laying at the iconic monument.
The President gave a small bow to the King and Queen, while Bridgette Macron – more business-like than Camilla in a navy jacket and short blue skirt with heels – gave Camilla a friendly kiss on each cheek. President Macron was then seen chuckling with the Queen as she repeatedly tried to keep her hat in place.
King Charles and Queen Camilla have landed in France for their three-day state visit. This afternoon they were welcomed by President Macron at an official ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe, where the two leaders went on to lay a wreath
As the King and President laid the wreath as a both nations’ air forces conducted a magnificent fly past, soaring over the famous Parisian landmark
President Emmanuel Macron with his wife Brigitte and Britain’s King Charles and Queen Camilla arrive for a bilateral meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris
Queen Camilla and Brigitte Macron help each other down a short flight of steps during this afternoon’s meeting at the Elysee Palace
Charles performs the re-kindling of the eternal flame using the Comite de la Flamme passed to him by Mr Macron
Britain’s King Charles and French President Emmanuel Macron attend a remembrance ceremony at Arc de Triomphe Paris
Emmanuel Macron bows and holds Queen Camilla’s hand. The Queen and King Charles are in France on a three-day State Visit
King Charles and Camilla disembark their plane arriving at a windy Orly Airport this afternoon
After being whisked away from the airport, Charles met President Macron at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris marking the first day of their state visit
President Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron greet King Charles and Queen Camilla at an official ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris
King Charles and Queen Camilla greet French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne after landing in France’s Orly Airport this afternoon
The King and Queen walk down the red carpet alongside the Prime Minister
Queen Camilla was forced to hold on to her hat this afternoon as she disembarked off the plane in Paris
The French President was seen chuckling as Camilla was forced to hold onto her hat once again due to the blustery conditions in Paris
President Macron and his wife, Mme Macron, greeted their guests warmly, having posted a glowing video tribute to the British monarch – showing Charles in France over the decades – on their social media outlets earlier. It read: ‘You visited as a Prince, you return as a King. Your Majesty, welcome.’
As the King and President laid the wreath as a both nations’ air forces conducted a magnificent fly past, soaring over the famous Parisian landmark. As part of the ceremony, Charles was invited by the president to symbolically light the monument’s eternal flame which burns in memory of those who died in the First and Second World Wars.
The King will have a meeting with the President before attending the black tie event at the Palace of Versailles, where he and Queen Camilla will be joined by Sir Mick Jagger.
A military band played the national anthems of Britain and France before His Majesty was escorted by the President to inspect the soldiers, consisting of the Regimental Band of the Garde Républicaine, the French Colour Part and the Tri-Service Guard of Honour. Meanwhile, the Queen chatted enthusiastically with Madame Macron.
After the Guard Inspection, The King and President Macron made their way to the Plateau, the centre piece of the Arc de Triomphe, where they stopped at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Both men bowed in silence in front of the eternal flame under the war memorial, before together laying a wreath in tribute to those who perished in the First and Second World Wars.
Nestled in the floral arrangement of white and red roses, the King placed a handwritten card with: ‘In everlasting remembrance’, written in English and French.
After the lighting, the bugle call ‘Aux Morts’, the French equivalent of ‘The Last Post’, meaning ‘to the dead’, was sounded and followed by a minute’s silence.
The British national anthem was followed by the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, as a stunning flypast of the Patrouille de France and the Red Arrows roared above the Champs-Élysées.
The Arc was the location for the Ceremonial Arrival of Queen Elizabeth II for Her Majesty’s final State Visit to France in 2014.
Nestled in the floral arrangement of white and red roses, the King placed a handwritten card with: ‘Iin everlasting remembrance’, written in English and French
The President gave a small bow to the King and Queen, while Bridgette Macron – more business-like than Camilla in a navy jacket and short blue skirt with heels – gave Camilla a friendly kiss on each cheek
A military band played the national anthems of Britain and France before His Majesty was escorted by the President to inspect the soldiers
Britain’s King Charles, his wife Queen Camilla, French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron attend a remembrance ceremony
The French head of state’s spouse, Brigitte Macron and Queen Camilla speak after a ceremonial welcome at The Arc De Triomphe
Brigitte Macron and Queen Camilla meet representatives of local veteran organisations, scout and guide organisations, and the British School of Paris during a ceremonial welcome at the Arc de Triomphe
Queen Camilla shakes hands with one of the attendees during the short meeting at the Arc de Triomphe
As Charles and Camilla arrived in Paris this afternoon, a major security operation was underway – six months after they were forced to postpone their trip because of violent protests in the country
Britain’s King Charles leans in to chat with soldiers during a remembrance ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris today
King Charles greets the crowds, shaking hands with people after attending a remembrance ceremony on the first day of his state visit
French President Emmanuel Macron talks with King Charles III as they leave the Champs-Elysees after the welcoming ceremony of their royal visit to Paris
The King was in a jovial mood as he smiled and laughed while walking from the Elysee Palace to the British ambassador to France’s residence
King Charles waves to crowds while President Macron beams as they walk through the streets of Paris with an entourage
Crowds flocked onto the streets of central Paris to watch the moment that King Charles III and Camilla arrived for the ceremony
King Charles III with President Macron before planting an oak tree at the British Ambassador’s residence after the ceremony
The President of the flame committee then invited Charles and Camilla to sign the ‘Livre d’Or’ or the ‘Golden Book’, to mark their visit.
Their Majesties, accompanied by the President and Madame Macron, then left in a waiting car to be driven down the Champs-Elysée toward the Elysée Palace, escorted by two Squadrons of the Mounted Regiment of the Garde Républicaine.
The King presented President Macron with a photography album containing images of the two of them.
Charles, 74, also gave Mr Macron a complete edition of French author Voltaire’s writings as they met at the Elysee Palace.
The complete edition included Voltaire’s Lettres sur les Anglais, otherwise known as Lettres philosophiques.
The works have been edited by Prof Nicholas Cronk, director of the Voltaire Foundation and a leading UK academic at Oxford University.
Having started work in 1968, the complete works, comprising 205 volumes, was only recently finished in April 2022.
In return, Mr Macron gave the King a golden coin from the Monnaie de Paris featuring Charles’s portrait.
He also gave him a first-edition prize-winning French novel – Romain Gary’s novel Les Racines (The Roots of Heaven), which won the Prix Goncourt, France’s highest literary award in 1956.
The King and Mr Macron arrived by car at the Elysee together just before 4pm, closely followed by the Queen and Brigitte Macron.
The foursome exchanged pleasantries as they stood at the end of a red carpet in the courtyard, laughing and joking together.
They then made their way up the red carpet, pausing to pose for photographs before Charles and Camilla led the way inside.
Mr Macron appeared particularly animated, joking with the gathered media.
Inside, the King and Mr Macron posed for photographs in the lavishly decorated Salon d’ore which is used as the President’s main office.
As they entered the room, Charles jokingly asked if the waiting photographers were always there.
The men posed before the French and EU flags before taking their seats for a private discussion.
The King and Mr Macron left on foot at 16.40, headed for the UK ambassador’s residence where they will plant an oak tree presented as a gift by the French President.
The two men appeared to be in deep conversation as they strolled out of the grounds together.
The King and President Macron stood together at the remembrance ceremony this afternoon at the Arc de Triomphe in France
The King and President are seen chatting as they leave a ceremonial welcome at the Arc de Triomphe to mark Charles’ arrival in France
The King joined the French president to lay a wreath of remembrance
King Charles III and French President Emmanuel Macron inspect the Guard during a ceremonial welcome at the Arc de Triomphe, Paris
Charles was invited by the president to symbolically light the monument’s eternal flame which burns in memory of those who died in the First and Second World Wars
The King and French president Emmanuel Macron both look to their right and smile as they leave the Elysee Palace on Wednesday
King Charles seemed in high spirits as he disembarked the plane in France, chuckling at someone as he walked across the runway
The RAF Voyager used by the Royal Family touching down in Paris this afternoon
As Charles and Camilla arrived in Paris this afternoon, a major security operation was underway – six months after they were forced to postpone their trip because of violent protests in the country.
Taking to social media to welcome the monarch shortly before his arrival, President Macron shared a video montage of achieve footage of the King’s previous 34 trips to the country as Prince of Wales.
The poignant videos span over decades, some showing a very young Charles while others show him speaking in French, at one point admitting ‘I don’t practice the French language enough’.
The President proudly shared the montage, captioning it: ‘You visited as a Prince, you return as a King. Your Majesty, welcome.’
Charles, 76, and Camilla, 74, will divide their time between Paris and Bordeaux packing in 21 high-profile engagements in just three days. The trip marks Charles’s 35th official visit to France and Camilla’s ninth.
The couple last visited France in 2019, attending a service in Bayeux Cathedral to mark the 75th anniversary of the Normandy Landings. Queen Elizabeth II, and the Duke of Edinburgh undertook a State Visit to France in 2014.
The Royal Family shared a photo of the monarch boarding a plane in London this morning
Writing on X, Charles and Camilla said: ‘We are so looking forward to joining you in Paris and Bordeaux, as we embark on our first State Visit as King and Queen to France, a country for which we both have the greatest love and admiration’
The French President captioned the video: ‘You visited as a Prince, you return as a King. Your Majesty, welcome’. Pictured: A video of Charles, then Prince of Wales, on an official visit to Paris
A Guard of Honour wait for Charles on the runway in Paris this afternoon
A bomb squad member and a sniffer dog inspect a car prior to the monarch’s arrival
Sharing footage of the King being welcomed onto his jet in London this morning, Charles and Camilla said in a joint Tweet: ‘We are so looking forward to joining you in Paris and Bordeaux, as we embark on our first State Visit as King and Queen to France, a country for which we both have the greatest love and admiration.
‘We will celebrate the special bond between our two countries and all that your wonderful country has to offer. À bientôt France!’
As part of the Anglo-French charm offensive, President Macron will host a state banquet in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles while the King will become the first British royal to address the French senate, speaking in both English and French.
The King was forced to cancel his state visit to France after widespread rioting began across the country opposing Macron’s retirement age reforms.
It was set to be the King and Queen’s first state visit following the death of Queen Elizabeth but Germany – the second leg of the journey – became the historic first destination for the couple.
In the days leading up to the planned visit, protesters daubed ‘Death to the King’ in threatening red paint across buildings, warning the violence would worsen if the monarch arrived.
The King and Queen were greeted with windy conditions when they jumped out of their car to meet President Macron
King Charles and President Macron lay a joint Franco-British wreath decorated with ribbons at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
One protester held up a placard with ‘Not my King’ written over it as the King and Queen arrived at the Arc de Triomphe
French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne goes to greet King Charles III and Queen Camilla King Charles III and Queen Camilla arrive at Orly Airport, Paris, along with Foreign Secretary James Cleverley
French military begin to gather at the Arc De Triomphe ahead of a ceremonial welcome for the King and Queen
The King and Queen’s plane flew in this afternoon, ready for a jam-packed few days in Paris and Bordeaux
A bomb squad member and a sniffer dog inspect a car prior to the arrival of King Charles at the Orly Airport
In Paris this morning, streets were seen being lined with Union Jacks and French flags ahead of the King and Queen’s first official state visit together as monarchs
The King and Queen were given the red carpet treatment before being greeted by
The video montage used various clips, including one where the King, then a young Prince, admitted ‘I don’t practice my French as much as I should’
Streets are barricaded and decorated with flags of United Kingdom and France as King Charles III, accompanied by Queen Camilla, travels to Paris, France
President Emmanuel Macron is expected to throw a lavish state banquet in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles to mark the King and Queen’s arrival
The British Government was asked by the French leader to postpone the trip at the time after French unions called for the nationwide pension protests to coincide with the King’s visit.
READ HERE: For Charles, Paris is a city of profoundly personal significance – and tragedy. It is where the Abdication Crisis reached its final, sad denouement. And it is from there he had to collect the body of Diana, mother of his two boys
As well as chaotic scenes in Paris, Bordeaux’s town hall was set alight by protesters just a few days before the monarch’s planned arrival.
Charles and Camilla are expected to arrive in Paris this afternoon with the events expected to be largely the same as they were in March.
Buckingham Palace said in a statement announcing the rescheduled trip: ‘The King and Queen will undertake a state visit to France, visiting Paris and Bordeaux, from Wednesday 20th to Friday 22nd September 2023.
‘The visit will celebrate the shared history, culture and values of the United Kingdom and France.’
Chris Fitzgerald, Deputy Private Secretary to Their Majesties, told the Mail last week that the trip would highlight issues of mutual interest including climate change and protecting biodiversity.
He added that they will discuss strengthening security and defence ties in response to the conflict in Ukraine and recognising outstanding cultural achievement.
Organisers have invited a range of celebrities to eat and drink with King Charles and Queen Camilla in the lavish Hall of Mirrors – a space designed to reflect the omnipotence of the Sun King, Louis XIV.
Rock royalty Mr Jagger, 80, will be travelling from his own stately home – the Château de Fourchette (Fork House) in the Indre-et-Loire department – for the evening.
Mr Arnault, 74, owns luxury mansions in Paris and Bordeaux and is the head of the LVMH luxury goods conglomerate, which includes brands like Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior.
Rich lists regularly put him at Number 1, with his fortune estimated by Forbes to be £178billion. In 2012 he was made Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire ‘for services to business’ by the late Queen Elizabeth II.
Charles is said to have provided a strict list of culinary demands for the evening’s soiree.
It was ruled it was too unsafe for the King and Queen to visit France as violence swept the country
In the days leading up to the planned visit, protesters daubed ‘Death to the King’ in threatening red paint across buildings, warning the violence would worsen if the monarch arrived
Michelin-starred kitchen maestros Yannick Alléno, Anne-Sophie Pic and Pierre Hermé have finalised a menu which was sent to London for approval.
This includes banning three of the France’s finest chefs from serving foie gras, while asparagus, which had been on the original menu in March, has been ruled out simply because it is no longer in season.
There will, however, be plenty of mushrooms served to the King and Queen, which are a favourite as they ‘remind them of the late Queen, Elizabeth II’, a French government source said.
As Charles addresses Senators and members of the National Assembly, Camilla will join Mme Macron to launch a new Franco-British literary prize at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.
The couples will then meet a number of community sports groups and sports stars as France hosts the Rugby World Cup and prepares to host the Olympics next year.
After travelling to Bordeaux, the King and Queen will meet emergency workers and communities affected by the Bordeaux wildfires in 2022, highlighting how to tackle climate change.
While in the region the King will also meet British and French military personnel as well as attend a GREAT campaign where British and French businesses will be showcased.
Finishing off their jam-packed visit, they will take a trip to an organic vineyard before flying back to Scotland where they have spent the summer.
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