King Carlos III and his wife Camila will travel to France and Germany from March 26 to 31 for their first state visits, to “celebrate the relationship” between the United Kingdom and these two countries, Buckingham Palace announced Friday.
This trip constitutes his first official trip abroad since Carlos74 years old, he became king on 8 September.
As crown prince, he made 34 official visits to France and 28 to Germany.
“This visit will commemorate Great Britain’s relationship with France and Germany, marking our histories, our culture and our common values,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.
“It will also be an opportunity to look to the future and demonstrate the many ways in which the UK works in partnership with France and Germany,” the Palace continued.citing 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 in a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe.
The king will make a speech before the senate. A state banquet is scheduled for March 27 at the Palace of Versailles in his honor.
On March 28, Carlos and Camila will travel to Bordeaux, in the southwest. The king will visit areas devastated by fires last summer and visit an organic vineyard.
“This state visit, the first of the sovereign before his coronation, is an honor for France and illustrates the depth of the historical ties that unite our two countries,” the French presidency stressed.
“It also symbolizes the relationship of friendship and trust between the President of the Republic and His Majesty the King, who in the past collaborated closely to protect biodiversity and fight against global warming,” he added.
Refugees and green technologies
In Germany, from March 29 to 31, the royal couple will travel to Berlin and then Hamburg.
Carlos III will deliver a speech before the German federal parliament. He will also meet with Ukrainian refugees.
The first State visits of Carlos III will take place a few weeks before his coronation, on May 6, at Westminster Abbey.
The talks will take place just days after British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s first visit to France on March 10.
Carlos’ last visit to France, as crown prince, dates back to 2019. He had attended a mass in Bayeux Cathedral to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Normandy landings.
Charles’s mother, Elizabeth II, who was French-speaking and Francophile, made five state visits to France during her reign, in addition to numerous private visits.
After her death, President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to the monarch, described as a “very close ally”.
His last state visit to France took place in 2014, on the 70th anniversary of the landing. On the beaches of Normandy, he had 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 enthusiasm in the country. Together with her husband, Prince Philip, she visited the former Nazi concentration camp of Bergen Belsen, in the north of the country.
The monarch’s most significant visit to Germany dates back to 1965, perceived as the moment that sealed the reconciliation between the two countries after World War II.
On the death of Elizabeth II, the head of the German government Olaf Scholz paid tribute to the queen, calling her a “symbol of reconciliation”.