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Charles and Camilla join Macrons and A-list stars at Palace of Versailles banquet with luxury champagne-soaked chicken
20 September 2023, 20:29 | Updated: 21 September 2023, 01:33
King Charles and Camilla attended the red carpet for their lavish state banquet in Paris alongside the Macrons and A-listers on Wednesday evening.
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The King and Queen are in France for a three day trip to Paris and Bordeaux six months after it had to be rescheduled because of widespread rioting across the country.
They arrived at the red carpet alongside president Macron and his wife Brigitte on Wednesday evening for the lavish banquet they were made guest of honours of.
A number of other guests also made an appearance on the red carpet, including Sir Mick Jagger, Hugh Grant and Charlotte Gainsbourg.
“Your generosity of spirit brings to mind how my family and I were so greatly moved by the tributes paid in France to my mother, the late Queen, whose funeral took place one year ago yesterday,” King Charles told the French president at the banquet.
“Mr President, among the many profoundly moving gestures here, the flying of the Union flag at the Elysee was particularly poignant.
“Your words, at that time, meant a great dealt to us too. You said that she had touched your hearts - and it was she who held France in the greatest affection, as, of course, did my grandmother Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.”
Also in attendance of the lavish event were chef Raymond Blanc, actress Emma Mackey, former Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger, Welsh novelist Ken Follet and former Premier League footballers Didier Drogba and Patrick Vieira.
Bernault Arnault, France’s richest man, also expected joined the royal couple at the soirée.
Up to 180 guests were put on the guest list for the lavish banquet - where guests dined on lobster, poached bresse chicken marinated in champagne, comté and more, according to The Telegraph.
The guest list was organised by the Élysée to reflect the full extent of the France-UK relationship.
President Emmanuel Macron welcomed King Charles and Queen Camilla earlier today with a ceremonial reception at the Arc de Triomphe, followed by this evening's state banquet at the Palace of Versailles.
The King and Queen were greeted by French prime minister Elisabeth Borne, and president Macron.
God Save the King played out around the Arc de Triomphe by a French choir. The King stood side-by-side with Macron listening to it.
Their tour - and their first state visit - was delayed after violent nationwide riots and demonstrations by those opposed to President Emmanuel Macron's retirement age reforms.
Just a few days before the the King and Queen's visit was due to begin, Bordeaux's town hall was set on fire by protesters.
King and Queen land in France for state visit
Germany - meant to be the second leg of the tour - became the historic first state visit destination for Charles and Camilla instead.
The King will become the first British monarch to give a speech from France's senate chamber, to senators and national assembly members.
On the agenda for today, the King and Queen will join their hosts, Macron and his wife Brigitte, for a ceremony of remembrance and wreath-laying at the Arc de Triomphe in the middle of Paris.
During the ceremony, the King will be invited by the president Macron to symbolically light the monument's eternal flame which burns in memory of those who died in the First and Second World Wars.
Both the King and Mr Macron will address the 160 guests. This will include high-profile figures chosen for their contribution to British-French relations.
Speaking on Britain's ties with France a senior official from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office said that it is an "absolutely massive relationship, both government to government and people to people".
It's what we call a 'full spectrum' relationship, ranging through defence ... trade, migration, and a key part of it is sustainability and our work together on the environment, both with each other and in the world".
The royal couple are also set to meet star athletes as France hosts the Rugby World Cup.