British State Visit to France, 1957

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The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh were received by President Rene Coty at Orly Airport in Paris at the start of their first State Visit to France on this day in 1957. The Official welcome included a procession through Paris ahead of luncheon at the Élysée Palace. This was the Queen’s first State Visit to France, following her visit to Paris as Princess in 1948. The Queen and Duke have since made State Visits to France in 1972, 1992, and 2014.

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In the evening, the President hosted a State Banquet in honour of the Queen (wearing the Vladimir Tiara and Cambridge Emerald Parure) and Duke of Edinburgh at the Élysée Palace in Paris, at which both the Queen and President gave speeches celebrating the special relationship between Britain and France.

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Afterwards, the President joined the Queen and Duke for a spectacular Gala Performance at the splendid Paris Opera House, following which the Queen appeared on the Balcony to wave to the crowds.

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Other engagements during the State Visit included a Luncheon in the Hall of Mirrors during a visit to the Palace of Versailles, a visit to a textile factory in Roubaix, an engagement at the Paris City Hall, a Tour of the Renault factory, and the laying of the first stone of the new Scottish church in Paris.

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On the second evening of the State Visit, the Queen (in the Girls of Great Britain & Ireland Tiara) and Duke of Edinburgh were joined by the President and First Lady for a magnificent Banquet in the Salle des Caryatids of the Louvre, which was followed by a Reception in the appartement d’été d’Anne d’Autriche. The Queen also received a private Tour of the Louvre, which must have been a magnificent sight, going through the world’s largest museum in a gown and tiara.

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On the final evening of the State Visit, the President Rene Coty joined the Queen (wearing Queen Alexandra’s Kokoshnik Tiara with Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee Necklace) and Duke for a cruise on the River Seine on board the ‘Borde Fretigny’, which was followed by a Return banquet hosted at the Hôtel de Charost, the official residence of the British Ambassador in Paris.

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