Charles III An official journey through France full of symbolism begins this Wednesday. It was actually planned for last March. The monarch’s choice of Paris and Berlin on his first international trip after ascending the throne was interpreted as a clear gesture by London to restore its relations with the EU after the chaotic and tense years of Brexit. However, the event in the “City of Light” had to be canceled at the last minute due to violent demonstrations against the pension reform Emmanuel Macron.
Charles III, who like his mother is fluent in French, is keen to follow in the late queen’s footsteps, probably referring to Elizabeth II’s deep affection for France, a country she visited 13 times during her long reign, more than any other other country in Europe.
There will be, among other things, a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe, a meeting with Macron at the Elysée Palace and a gala dinner at the Palace of Versailles before the monarch and his wife Camilla head to the vineyards of Bordeaux.
The cordiality will be in stark contrast to the tensions that have existed at the political level in recent years. Macron was one of the toughest in the negotiations between the UK and the EU after his divorce and the personal animosity that the French president also harbored towards the former prime minister. Boris Johnson made bilateral relations even more difficult. One of the most complicated moments was the security pact concluded between London, Washington and Canberra, which threw out the multi-million dollar nuclear submarine agreement that the French had negotiated with Australia.
Johnson’s successor, the fugitive Liz Truss, said it was not known whether France was friend or foe before he decided to call it “friend” last year. But the current tenant of Downing Street is the moderate Rishi Sunakvisited France last March to begin what he called a “renewed Antente.”
At their meeting in the Elysée Palace, Charles III. and Macron will have the opportunity to talk about, among other things, the war in Ukraine, the coups in the Sahel and the upcoming British summit on artificial intelligence. They will also have a lot in common when they meet at the Natural History Museum in Paris to discuss global warming, a topic that has interested them both for years. During the 2021 COP climate negotiations in Glasgow, they worked together to raise funds for the Great Green Wall initiative, which aimed to plant an 8,000 kilometer strip of trees across Africa. The Frenchman praised the monarch for convincing Amazon boss Jeff Bezos to donate $1 billion to the plan.