Visit of Charles III: Baisemain, punctuality and (small) disappointments, the story of the king's first day in Paris

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report From the Elysée to Versailles, “20 Minutes” followed the royal couple, Charles III and Camilla, for their first day of visit to France. Here's everything you missed if you caught the news today

Visit of Charles III: Baisemain, punctuality and (small) disappointments , the story of the king's first day in Paris

Charles and Camilla were received by Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron at the Elysée, an opportunity to display complicity between the two countries. The visit of the royal couple was requested by the British government in order to strengthen ties with France. — Tom Nicholson/Shutterstock/SIPA

  • King Charles III and Queen Camilla began a three-day state visit to France on Wednesday.
  • From the Elysée Palace to Versailles, 20 Minutesfollowed the royal couple and tells you about this day, when the French Republic rolled out the red carpet for the monarchy.

“I’d like to know what’s going on,” exclaims a young woman, while filming the Arc de Triomphe for her friends with her smartphone. “There are at least a million people!”, she exclaims. An estimate to say the least generous, this Wednesday noon, while King Charles III and Queen Camilla are expected less than three hours later on the Champs-Elysées.

The big day crowds are not there. However, the Republic pulled out all the stops to receive the British monarch and his wife at home. on the occasion of this state visit, requested by the British government to strengthen ties with France after Brexit. A trip for the first time postponed in the spring due to current events hot French socialite. It was finally under an autumn sun that Charles and Camilla landed at their destination. Orly to 2 p.m., welcomed by the Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne.

Time to exchange the usual banalities, the royal couple then heads towards the center of Paris, where they meet. they participated à a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe.

Flowers and disappointments

They were eagerly awaited there by Morgane and Stéphane, two French people who had prepared their trip. for the occasion the royal family fan's range: t-shirt decorated with of the emblem of the king and Union Jack for her, gigantic one of Paris Match with Charles, of course, for him. They are in the front row this Wednesday noon, closest to the Arc de Triomphe, when the police inform them of the closure of the area. To attend During the ceremony, the public is invited to attend the ceremony. to go a hundred meters lower, with a lesser view and above all behind a double security barrier, dashing Charles and Camilla's hopes of a crowd bath. And those of Morgane and Stéphane at the same time. “I understand that there is security, but there is also a need for proximity”, argues Stéphane.

A little further down, Fanny holds a few sprigs of flowers. They are for Camilla. Working in the neighborhood, the young woman wanted to be present for the event. “I told myself that this was an opportunity to take advantage of seeing them.”

A hand kiss Camilla

Pierre must have been in the front row. This former member of the Republican Guard, whom we met before the start of the ceremony, had put on a ceremonial outfit. He was there to carry one of the flags of the Royal British Legion, a charity that helps veterans. “I’had the privilege of attending a ceremony with Queen Elizabeth ten years ago in London Windsor,” he remembers proudly. “It’s the kind of thing you do once in your life.”

We must leave Pierre, who must prepare for the start of the ceremony, and then head towards the Elysée, where the ceremony begins. the king and queen were expected at 3:50 p.m. No time for us to attend; the ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe: the organization of the Elysée requested journalists to be present at rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré à 2:30 p.m. In line to access the presidential palace, journalists are wondering about the outfit Brigitte Macron will wear this Wednesday: what color will she choose? Who will sign his outfit? It is finally dressed in a navy blue outfit that the wife of the president of the republic gets out of the car which takes her with Camilla to the main courtyard of the Elysium ;e, after the ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe. The President of the Republic and Charles, punctual, arrived a few moments before, in a sedan of the Republic bearing thetricolor flag and theroyal standard em>, the flag which represents the sovereign and the United Kingdom.

The two couples slowly walk up the red carpet, posing for the photographers but not saying a word to each other. the press. Twenty minutes later, all four of them emerge from the palace. Is this already happening? the end of the bilateral interview between Charles III and Emmanuel Macron? No, simply time for Camilla to step aside. The President of the Republic kisses his hand, before disappearing for his tête-à-tête with Charles. Reaction of an English photographer: “He kissed the Queen !” (He kissed the queen). The president touched on him. hand, showing himself to be less tactile with Camilla than some of his predecessors with Queen Elizabeth II.

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A security system omnipresent

What did Charles and Emmanuel Macron say to each other? Their discussions were to focus on biodiversity. and climate, on the state of play of bilateral relations between the two countries, or even on major international issues. At the end, the President of the Republic crosses the road. walk the courtyard of honor of the Elysée, accompanied by by Charles. They did not say a word to the press, but launched into a crowd between the presidential palace and the British embassy, ​​200 meters apart. As soon as the two heads of state had left, the services of the Elysée began to take action. remove the red carpet. Charles III is due to return this Thursday to the presidential palace for an informal interview with Emmanuel Macron at the Presidential Palace. 7 p.m.

The next Parisian stop for Charles and Camilla is almost a return to life. the House. They are welcomed at the British Embassy to plant a tree offered by Emmanuel Macron. This Wednesday, the two heads of state exchanged views. other gifts, books. The President of the Republic offered an original edition of Racines du ciel, by Romain Gary, to the British head of state, while the latter offered to its French counterpart Voltaire's Letters on the English.

The sequence to the embassy is not open to foreigners. the French press, it is time to head towards Versailles, where the republic brings out its most beautiful tableware to receive Charles and Camilla as well as around 160 guests. Despite Following the controversy caused by the announcement of this dinner in the spring, no demonstrator was present in front of the castle of Louis XIV. From 6 p.m., while the king and queen are not expected until two hours later, around fifty curious people are already there. the base of the crane in front of the castle. The crowd grew gradually. As we get closer to 8 p.m., we reach a few hundred people.

Many onlookers are left wanting more: as on the Champs-Elysées, the security system is there. is omnipresent. Members of the police searched the bags and barriers prevented access to the castle square. Sedans with tinted windows follow one another, but who can smartly say which passenger is there: Arsène Wenger, Mick Jagger? Or even Emmanuel Macron? The cars go straight into the main courtyard of the castle. Signs have been installed. erected on the grid, preventing you from seeing what is happening there. Finally, 8 p.m., those everyone was waiting for arrive, there still punctual. flawless. In a purple Bentley, King Charles, smiling, greets the crowd. Camilla is at home his sides. The windows of the car are not tinted, finally giving the people of Versailles the moment they were waiting for. After the royal couple passes by, a young woman asks a gendarme: “Where is he? Macron? When will he arrive? » “He’s already there. à “inside,” the man replied. No one saw him pass.