King Charles could travel to France for first state visit as monarch


King Charles III could make France the destination of his first state visit as early as next month.

The UK Foreign Office is set to finalize plans for the trip in hopes it will help strengthen diplomatic ties with the country in the post-Brexit landscape, reports The Telegraph.

The trip could also include Germany and would be the first state visit by a British monarch in seven years, given Queen Elizabeth II’s limited mobility in her later years.

A visit to France could give the king an opportunity to highlight an African tree-planting program that aims to help fight climate change, which he supports alongside President Emmanuel Macron.

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The Telegraph reports that the President could take King Charles to see an exhibition about this project, dubbed the Great Green Wall, which aims to create a 30-mile-wide line of trees across Africa.

The two men met at a reception for world leaders at Buckingham Palace ahead of the Queen’s funeral on Sunday (September 18) after speaking on the phone the previous week.

At the time, the Élysée said: “The Head of State expressed his sincere condolences to the King and expressed his full support.

“He spoke of the sadness of the French at the news of Queen Elizabeth II’s death and said their thoughts are with the British people.”

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Also read: Macron pays tribute to the Queen: “We all feel an emptiness”

He “wished the king every success and said he was fully available to continue the work they have started together over the last few years, faced with common challenges, starting with the climate and the planet”.

Mr Macron has already invited the king to the Élysée “when it suits him”.

The last time the then-Prince Charles visited France was in 2018, when he traveled to Lyon and Nice, where he paid tribute to the victims of the July 14 terrorist attacks.

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The King also met the French President at last year’s COP26 summit in Glasgow.

Australia and New Zealand are expected to be the first Commonwealth countries to receive a state visit next year. King Charles visited Canada in May but has not been to Australia since 2018.

The Queen made her first state visit as monarch to France in 1957, when she was received by then-President René Coty.

Read more: 7 facts about the Queen’s relationship with France

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