King Charles’s state visit to France was a great success, and the French public took him and Queen Camilla “into their hearts.” But there was one drawback – Emmanuel Macron’s insistence on touching the monarch.
The king (74) and the Queen (76) will travel to Bordeaux on Friday for the last day of their state visit. But his stay in Paris was already a success when Charles gave a historic speech at the French parliament on Thursday.
For the royal writer Michael Cole, the couple’s visit to the poor town of Saint-Denis, where Camilla was photographed playing table tennis with Macron’s wife Brigitte, was a special boost. He told GB News: “The French have taken King Charles and Queen Camilla seriously.
“They guillotined their last king 230 years ago and overthrew the last emperor Napoleon III in 1870, but they are still fascinated by the monarchy. In fact, there are two contenders for the French throne… and everyone who reads French magazines … we will see that it is always full of British royal news. Therefore, this visit was a great success.
However, there was one drawback. The French president was criticized for constantly touching Charles.
Macron, 45, was seen putting his arm around the monarch – who reportedly “absolutely hates” being touched – and patting him on the back. This drew comparisons with former French President Jacques Chirac, who caused controversy in 2004 by touching on the late Queen Elizabeth II.
The protocol prescribes that no one should touch a member of the royal family, unless it was initiated. US President Joe Biden was last seen holding Charles by the arm and patting him on the back.
According to the Daily Mail, Macron’s actions horrified French etiquette experts, quoting one who said: “Has he forgotten Chirac? They just do not touch the British royal house!”
At the end of the trip on Friday, Charles and Camilla will attend a reception on a Royal Navy frigate and take the tram to the main square to meet British and French businessmen on Friday. The king will be learning about the impact of climate change on bushfires, while Camilla is meeting with a local charity that supports disadvantaged people.
The couple’s visit ends with a tour of a sustainable vineyard. Bordeaux, famous for its wine, is home to about 39,000 Brits and has a partnership with Bristol.