King Charles III and his wife Camila will travel to France and Germany from March 26 to 31 on their first state visit, to “celebrate” the relationship between Britain and these two countries, Buckingham Palace announced on Friday.
This trip marks his first official visit since Carlos, 74, became king on October 8.
The crown prince made 34 official visits to France and 28 to Germany.
“This vision will commemorate Britain’s relationship with France and Germany, respecting our shared histories, culture and values,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.
“It will also be an opportunity to look at future events and demonstrate the many ways the UK works in partnership with France and Germany,” continued the Palace, mentioning in particular the fight against global warming and the response to the conflict in Ukraine.
Carlos III, who speaks French, and Camila will be in France from March 26 to 29. In Paris, they will participate with President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte during the ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe.
The king made a speech in the senate. A state banquet is scheduled for March 27 at the Palace of Versailles in his honor.
On the 28th of March, Carlos and Camila will leave for Bordeaux in the south. The King will visit areas devastated by fires last summer and visit an organic vineyard.
“This state visit, the first of the prince before the coronation, is an honor for France and illustrates the depth of the historical links that unite the two nations,” the French presidency had highlighted.
“This also means a relationship of friendship and trust between the President of the Republic and His Majesty the King, who in the past has worked very closely to protect biodiversity and fight against global warming.”
Refugees and green technology
In Germany, from March 29 to 31, the royal couple will travel to Berlin and then Hamburg.
Charles III will deliver a speech before the German federal parliament. He will also meet with Ukrainian refugees.
The first public visits of Charles III will take place a few weeks before the coronation, on the 6th of May, in Westminster Abbey.
The talks will take place in the coming days after British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visited France in early March.
Charles’ last visit to France, as crown prince, in 2019. He had celebrated a mass in the cathedral of Bayonne to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the landing in the ports of Normandy.
Charles’s mother, Elizabeth II, who was Francophone and Francophile, made five state visits to France during that reign, in addition to many private visits.
After her death, President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to the monarch, who he described as his “closest ally”.
His last state visit was to France in 2014, the 70th anniversary of the ascent. On the beaches of Normandy, he met with 1,800 veterans and 18 heads of state and government, including US and Russian presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin.
Elizabeth II’s last visit to Germany in 2015, under Angela Merkel, sparked great interest in the country. Together with her husband, Prince Philip, she visited the former Nazi concentration camp Bergis Belsen in the northern region.
The monarch’s most significant visit was back to Germany in 1965, perceived as the moment when reconciliation between the two nations had been signed after World War II.
After the death of Elisabeth II, the leader of the German Empire, Olaf Scholz, paid tribute to the queen, which he called “a symbol of reconciliation”.