‘Vive le Roi!’ King Charles enjoys a wonderful welcome on State Visit to France

The King and Queen were in Bordeaux as part of their first State Visit to France. Photographer: LPhot Gareth Smith - UK MOD © Crown copyright 2023

The King and Queen have spent three days in France, visiting Paris and Bordeaux to celebrate the strong links between the UK and its neighbour. 

Shouts of ‘long live the King’ could be heard as King Charles headed onto the streets of France and met well-wishers.

King Charles praised France’s “wonderful welcome” at a grand dinner held in his honor at the sumptuous Hall of Mirrors of the Palace of Versailles.

After a whistle stop tour in Paris, Their Majesties travelled to Bordeaux for the third and final day of their State Visit to France.

The King and Queen received a warm welcome outside the Town Hall before moving inside to learn more about the historic twinning of Bordeaux with the UK city of Bristol.

Their Majesties went on to board H.M.S. IRON DUKE, a Royal Navy Type 23 Frigate, for a reception to highlight the defence ties between France and the UK. The frigate plays a key role in protecting our nation’s interests, from policing vital trade routes to supporting humanitarian aid missions.

King Charles III and Queen Camilla embarking onboard HMS IRON DUKE. Photographer: LPhot Gareth Smith – UK MOD © Crown copyright 2023.

The King and Queen travelled by electric tram from the reception to Place de la Bourse where they attended a festival-style event at the heart of the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The festival showcased the best of British, French and Bordelais business from sectors including food and drink, technology and innovation, sports and sustainability. A range of musical performances from emerging British and French artists will also take place on the square with around 1,000 invited guests present.

Their Majesties then undertook separate engagements, His Majesty visited an ‘Experimental Forest’, hearing about the devastating impact of last year’s forest fires and how the local community has recovered from the disaster and implemented fire prevention and forest resilience strategies. 

As well as recording the effect of climate change on forests, the Forest project aims to improve fire prevention techniques, promote better land use and identify innovative techniques and products that can be used beyond a forest environment – in agriculture, for example.

Meanwhile, The Queen visited Le Pain de l’Amitié, a local Bordeaux charity which houses a subsidised supermarket, kitchen and restaurant, and provides low-cost food and necessities to those in the local community who may be in need. It also acts as a hub for local families to connect and spend time together

As no visit to Bordeaux would be complete without some of the famous local wine, Their Majesties ended their State Visit with a tour of Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte to learn about sustainable vineyard practices in the Bordeaux wine producing region. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here