King Charles: French President Emmanuel Macron broke this protocol during monarch's visit to France

King Charles III spent the first day of his state visit to France. An opportunity for the French President to get closer to him in a way that is very unconventional.

French President Emmanuel Macron broke protocol during King Charles' visit to France
© Samir Hussein / Getty Images
French President Emmanuel Macron broke protocol during King Charles' visit to France

On Wednesday September 20, Charles III began his three-day state visit. An initiative of the King to 'reinvigorate friendship' between France and the United Kingdom. And so it proved, at a dinner held in the Hall of Mirrors at the Château de Versailles.

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Emmanuel Macron made a point of underlining his friendship with the British monarch, in a rather unceremonious way. As usual, Emmanuel Macron put on his best face to welcome the monarch.

Emmanuel Macron was too friendly with King Charles

To express their bond of 'friendship', he was extremely tactile towards the King. He put his hand on the arm and back of the former Prince of Wales on several occasions. However, the protocol of the English monarchy is formal: it is forbidden to touch a member of the royal family, let alone the king. However, if the former Prince of Wales shows himself to be tactile, it's possible to depart from the rule.

It was enough to annoy the Anglo-Saxon press, including the BBC, who didn't hesitate to call out the President with a laconic 'Don't touch His Majesty'. For body language expert Judi James, contacted by the Daily Express, these are 'power taps' from the head of state to show 'that he's the one in control of the situation.' King Charles, on the other hand, didn't seem bothered by Emmanuel Macron's behaviour...

Read more:King Charles III and Camilla: The royals have a lot in common with Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron

What is the royal protocol?

When meeting a British monarch, there are certain rules to follow to avoid making any blunders. Here's a structured overview of the protocol to be observed when receiving the king:

  1. Salutation: It's traditional to curtsy (for women) or bow (for men). The appropriate title to use initially is 'Your Majesty', then 'Sir' or 'Ma'am' thereafter.
  2. Don't initiate contact: Never touch the King or Queen, unless they reach out first. Hugs, embraces and other familiar gestures are to be avoided.
  3. Let royalty lead the conversation: Don't ask the king or queen direct questions. Let them guide the discussion.
  4. Appropriate titles: Make sure you use the right titles. For example, for Prince Consort Philip, it was 'Your Royal Highness' followed by 'Sir' in conversation.
  5. Respect the rules of courtesy: Although some members of the royal family are more relaxed about protocol, it's always best to stick to tradition, especially at official events.
  6. Avoid distractions: Cell phones and other electronic devices should be turned off or set aside at royal events.

Read more:King Charles and Camilla are causing trouble in France during official visit

King Charles III's programme for Thursday

All those lucky enough to bump into the King and Queen during these visits are informed in advance of the rules of protocol to be observed in their presence. This is to ensure that the visit is conducted with respect for tradition and decorum.

After the grand reception at the Château de Versailles, King Charles III continues his official visit to France with a busy Thursday, mixing official speeches, culture, sports and environmental issues.

Between Senate and Literature

In the morning, the British monarch will make his presence felt at the Palais du Luxembourg, where he will address a speech to French parliamentarians, illustrating once again the importance of Franco-British relations.

At the same time, Queen Camilla, accompanied by First Lady Brigitte Macron, will head for the Bibliothèque nationale de France. The aim of the visit is to launch a new Franco-British literary prize, strengthening the cultural ties between the two nations.

Sport and History in Saint-Denis

At midday, the program will take the royal couple to Saint-Denis. Their first stop will be the 'Rugby Village', set up in the heart of the town for the Rugby World Cup. There, they will share convivial moments with local youngsters around sports activities. Their journey will continue with a visit to the Basilica of Saint-Denis, famous for housing the tombs of many French kings.

Notre-Dame and Biodiversity

The afternoon will be dedicated to culture and the environment. The King and Queen will first visit the construction site of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, to show their support for this emblematic monument currently undergoing restoration.

Their day will end at the Musée national d'histoire naturelle. Accompanied by Emmanuel Macron, Charles III will highlight the issues of biodiversity and climate, through exchanges with economic players involved in these fields.

Tomorrow, Friday September 22, the sovereign will head for Bordeaux to discuss the challenges of climate change, but also to honor the memory of the rescue workers who fought the devastating fires of summer 2022.

Read more:King Charles supports extravagant project to repurpose Kensington helipad, here’s what we know

This article has been translated from Oh!MyMag FR.

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