After a planned trip was canceled earlier this year, King Charles III and Queen Camilla finally kicked off their state visit to France on Wednesday. Earlier this month, sources told Vanity Fair that the tour—and a planned speech in front of the nation’s parliament to be delivered in French—is meant to emphasize the closeness of the Anglo-French relationship. But the day’s events showed off just how close their majesties have grown to President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte in a personal sense.
When both couples exited the Élysée Palace soon after the king and queen’s arrival, Brigitte escorted Camilla, wearing a pink dress and matching jacket by Fiona Clare, down the carpeted stairs hand-in-hand. Then, at a ceremony of remembrance and wreath laying at the Arc de Triomphe, the king and Macron stood side-by-side and talked excitedly.
Later, the royal family’s social media accounts shared a photo from the event that shows Macron’s hand on the king’s arm, with both men smiling. Following the wreath-laying, the couples returned to the Élysée Palace, where Charles and Macron took a bilateral meeting.
On Wednesday night, the Palace of Versailles became the site for a state banquet with a black-tie dress code—which meant there were no sashes and no tiaras. Camilla arrived in a navy Dior dress and a necklace with a special nod to her late mother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth II. In 1947, King George VI bought a sapphire necklace and earrings set for his daughter, who was then still a princess, from Carrington & Co. After she ascended to the throne, she had the necklace shortened and turned one of the larger stones into a detachable pendant that could also be worn as a pin. Often called the George VI Victorian Suite, the gems became a favorite choice of the queen for formal events and state dinners.
Also on the guest list were a few celebrities beloved by British and French audiences. Before their majesties’ arrival, Sir Mick Jagger walked the carpet with his partner Melanie Hamrick, and Hugh Grant arrived with his wife, Anna Elisabet Eberstein. Charlotte Gainsbourg wore a long dress with a rolled collar and a slit up the side.
According to the Telegraph, the night’s menu included lobster, poached Bresse chicken, and a raspberry dessert, all served in the palace’s iconic Hall of Mirrors.
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