British State Visit to France

King Charles III and Queen Camilla are undertaking a State Visit to France this week, visiting Paris and Bordeaux, from Wednesday 20th to Friday 22nd September 2023 at the invitation of President Macron. Originally scheduled for March, the visit was delayed due to political riots in Paris, though the King and Queen did continue the State Visit to Germany as planed.

British Royal Visits to France


King Charles and Queen Camilla arrived at Orly Airport, having traveled on the RAF Voyager from the United Kingdom. At the start of the visit, the King and Queen released a joint statement:

We are so looking forward to joining you in Paris and Bordeaux, as we embark on our first State Visit as King and Queen to France, a country for which we both have the greatest love and admiration.

We will celebrate the special bond between our two countries and all that your wonderful country has to offer. À bientôt France!

-Charles R. and Camilla R.


Upon arrival in Paris, King Charles and Queen Camila were officially received by President and Mrs. Macron with a Ceremony of Remembrance and Wreath Laying at the Arc de Triomphe, marking the shared sacrifices of the past and an enduring legacy of cooperation. The King symbolically lit the eternal flame, which burns in memory of those who perished in the First and Second World Wars.

Afterwards, King Charles and Queen Camilla had a bilateral meeting with President Macron and the First Lady at the Elysée Palace, before the King and President walked to the British Ambassador’s Residence in Paris, to plant a tree.

In the evening, President and Mrs. Macron hosted a State Banquet for King Charles and Queen Camila (wearing the King George VI Sapphire Suite) in the Hall of Mirrors of the Palace of Versailles, where the King and President both gave speeches.

Queen Camila wore the King George VI Sapphire Suite with a Dior Gown and Cape, but no Tiara.

British Royal Visits to France

One of the first modern State Visits was the Field of Gold Cloth, an extensive visited between King Henry VIII of England and King Francis I of France from 7 to 24 June 1520, held at Balinghem, between Ardres in France and Guînes in the English Pale of Calais.

During the English Civil War, King Louis XIV of France hosted his first cousin, King Charles II, and the English Royal Family in France, and later also hosted the exiled King James II following the Glorious Revolution of 1689.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert made their first State Visit to France in 1843, when they were hosted by King Louis Philippe at the Château d’Eu in Normandy. They stayed the Château d’Eu again two years later, in September 1845.

Following the French State Visit to Britain, Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie hosted Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, the Prince of Wales and the Princess Royal on their landmark State Visit to France in 1855, with a Ball in the Galerie des Glaces (Hall of Mirrors) at the Château of Versailles, an Opera Performance at the Paris Opera House (Queen Victoria wore her Emerald Tiara and Parure), a Banquet in the Apollo’s Gallery of the Château de Saint-Cloud (Queen Victoria wore her Opal Parure and the Empress wore the French Sapphire Parure), and a Ball for 8000 at the Paris City Hall.

King Edward VII made an important State Visit to France in 1903, which gained much public support for the signing of the Entente Cordiale, which has proved to to be deciding document of Anglo-French Alliance through the 20th century. Queen Alexandra and not joined the King on the State Visit, but was in Paris with her sister, the Empress of Russia, and both of them joined the crowds cheering the King.

In 1938, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth attended a State Banquet at the Élysée Palace (wearing her Crown), a Gala Performance at the Opéra Garnier (in the Oriental Circlet Tiara) and a Banquet at the Quai d’Orsay (wearing the Greville Tiara and the Greville Festoon Necklace) during their important State Visit to France, which came just on the cusp of the Second World War and was the only outgoing State Visit of their Reign.

A decade later, the newlywed Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh went on an Official Visit to Paris in 1948, which included a State Banquet hosted by President Vincent Auriol in honour of Princess Elizabeth (wearing the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara and the South African Diamond Necklace), as well as a Gala Performance at the Opéra Garnier in Paris in honour of the Princess (wearing the Nizam of Hyderabad TiaraNizam of Hyderabad Necklace, and Queen Mary’s Diamond Stomacher).

In 1951, Princess Margaret (wearing her iconic Dior Gown with the Cartier Halo Tiara and her Royal Family Orders) attended a Ball organised by the Cercle de L’Union Interallié at the Hôtel Perrinet de Jars In Paris, in aid of the Paris-based Hertford British Hospital.

The Queen Mother went on an Official Visit to Paris in 1956, to open the Franco-Scottish Exhibition, attending a Dinner in her (wearing Queen Victoria’s Oriental Circlet Tiara, the Crown Ruby Parure, and Queen Victoria’s Crown Ruby Brooch) honour hosted by the French Government and the City of Paris.

France was the fourth country visited by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh on a State Visit in 1957, including a Banquet in honour of the Queen (wearing the Vladimir Tiara and Cambridge Emerald Parure) at the Élysée Palace in Paris, followed by a Performance at the Paris Opera House. The Queen (in the Girls of Great Britain & Ireland Tiara) and Duke also attended a magnificent Banquet in the Salle des Caryatids of the Louvre, before she (wearing Queen Alexandra’s Kokoshnik Tiara with Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee Necklace)  hosted a cruise on the River Seine and a Return Banquet at the Hôtel de Charost.

On their next State Visit to France in 1972, the Queen (wearing the Vladimir TiaraDuchess of Gloucester’s Pendant Earrings, and Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee Necklace)  and Duke of Edinburgh attended a Banquet at the Palace of Versailles and visited the Duke and Duchess of Windsor ahead of a Return Banquet hosted by the Queen (wearing Queen Alexandra’s Kokoshnik Tiara) at the British Embassy in Paris.

In 1992, President Mitterrand hosted a State Banquet for the Queen (wearing the Burmese Ruby Tiara) at the Élysée Palace, followed by a Tour of the Louvre. The next day, there was a Return Banquet hosted by the Queen (in the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara) and the Hôtel de Charost, while on the final evening the Queen (wearing the Belgian Sapphire Tiara) hosted another Banquet on board the Royal Yacht Britannia.

In 2004, the Queen went on another State Visit to France, to mark the centenary of the Entente Cordiale, with a Gala Dinner hosted by President Jacques Chirac in honour of the Queen (wearing the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara) at the Élysée Palace.

Ten years later, the Queen was back in France for her fifth and final State Visit, attending the international D-Day commemoration ceremony on the beach of Ouistreham in Normandy, marking the 70th anniversary of the World War II Allied landings in Normandy. That evening, President Francois Hollande hosted a State Banquet in honour of the Queen (wearing the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara) at the Élysée Palace.

This will be King Charles’s 36th Official Visit to France, with the most prominent being when he and the late Princess of Wales were hosted by President Francois Mitterrand at the Élysée Palace in 1988. This will be Queen Camilla’s 9th Official Visit to France, with then Duchess of Cornwall going on a prominent solo visit in 2013.

The most recent Official Royal Visit to France was in 2017, by the then Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who met President François Hollande and attended a Dinner hosted by the British Ambassador at the Hôtel de Charost.

Details of King Charles and Queen Camilla’s State Visit to France 

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