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Pride of Britain: Red Arrows wow over Paris in honour of state visit from King Charles

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Photographer: Cpl Phil Dye - Copyright: UK MOD © Crown copyright 2023

In honour of a state visit from King Charles III, the RAF’s Red Arrows performed a mixed formation flypast with The Patrouille acrobatique de France in Paris today.

The King and Queen are currently undertaking a State Visit to France from today (Wednesday 20th) to Friday 22nd September 2023.

Officially known as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows showcase the excellence of the RAF and represent the United Kingdom both at home and overseas. 

The Red Arrow team consists of 11 pilots, nine of whom fly in the display, and more than 100 support personnel and technicians.

Each of the pilots has previous fast-jet, operational experience flying the Tornado, Typhoon or Harrier, enabling the RAF to secure the skies and protect the nation and its interests, 365-days a year. 

RAF Red Arrows perform a mixed formation flypast with The Patrouille. Photographer: Cpl Phil Dye. Copyright: UK MOD © Crown copyright 2023

The King and Queen’s State Visit to France is due to highlight the strength of the U.K.’s bilateral relationship with France, demonstrating the many ways the two countries are working together, whether that be to promote and protect biodiversity, combat climate change, strengthen security and defence ties in response to the conflict in Ukraine or recognise outstanding literary achievement.

Their Majesties’ visit will also include engagements highlighting sustainability and the power of community – key themes of importance to the citizens of both our nations. 

In Paris, the King and Queen joined President and Mrs. Macron for a ceremony of Remembrance and wreath laying at the Arc de Triomphe, marking the shared sacrifices of the past and an enduring legacy of cooperation.

His Majesty will have a bilateral meeting with President Macron at the Elysée Palace and their Majesties will be guests of honour at a State Banquet hosted at the Palace of Versailles by President and Mrs. Macron.

Their Majesties will also meet community sports groups and well-known sports stars, to show the benefits sport can bring, particularly to young people, as France hosts the Rugby World Cup. 

The King will also address Senators and members of the National Assembly at the French Senate.

The Queen, together with Mrs. Macron, will launch a new Franco-British literary prize at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. His Majesty and President Macron will also attend a sustainability reception for British and French business leaders, to hear more about their plans to invest to protect biodiversity and combat climate change.  

In Bordeaux, His Majesty will meet emergency workers and communities affected by the 2022 Bordeaux wildfires, at the Forêt Experimentale, a site designed to monitor the responses of urban forests to climate change. Their Majesties will then meet U.K. and French military personnel to hear more about how the two nations are collaborating on defence. 

The King and Queen will also attend a GREAT campaign event in Bordeaux, which will showcase British and French businesses and will provide an opportunity for Their Majesties to meet members of the French and British communities in the city.

The Royal couple will tour an organic vineyard, which has pioneered a sustainable approach to wine making.

One of the world’s premier aerobatic teams, the Red Arrows have now completed approximately 5,000 displays, in 58 countries.

Flying Hawk T1 jets, the team is based at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire.

For more information on the Red Arrows, follow @rafredarrows on Twitter, like the team’s Facebook page at RAF Red Arrows, view pictures on Instagram @rafredarrows or visit www.raf.mod.uk/reds

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