King Charles III and his wife Camilla arrived in France on Wednesday 20 September. The royals were welcomed in Paris first by the Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne and then by President Macron and his wife, Brigitte.
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The couples met on the Champs Elysées where Macron and King Charles laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier under the Arc de Triomphe. Later in the evening, both couples set off to the Palace of Versailles where a sumptuous dinner was served.
While this is an official visit between two heads of state, it is reported that the couples share a genuine friendship. But they share so much more…
King Charles III’s first international visit
This isn’t the first time that a British monarch has come to France, far from it but it is significant that King Charles III chose France as his first international destination since accessing the throne in September 2022.
According to French publication Paris Match, when Emmanuel Macron called King Charles to express condolences after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the President suggested that France be the new monarch’s first international visit. The invitation was accepted and the monarch scheduled a visit for March 2023, which was postponed to September because of vehement demonstrations.
The two men first met in 2019 and it is believed that since then they have developed a friendship based on many common interests as well as similar personal choices.
Both couple linked by literature
According to Paris Match still, both couples share a strong love of books and words. While Macron is an aficionado of Flaubert, King Charles adores Shakespeare. More than that, both their wives share a desire to impart that passion. Brigitte Macron used to be a literature teacher while the Queen Consort started a bookclub.
Furthermore, it was reported by Gala that as the official visit started, both men gifted each other books. Macron gave a first edition of Les Racines du ciel by Romain Gary, a book reported to be a ‘ metaphor for the quest for salvation for all humanity’ while the King gifted a first edition of Lettre sur les Anglais by Voltaire. Voltaire’s book is about the time the author spent in London between 1726 and 1728.
Both couples came together against all odds
The story of King Charles III and Camilla is well known by the English people. Their love story is scandalous, controversial but, in the end, it all came together. Indeed, the two met before their first marriages and built separate lives before officially reuniting at a later age. The couple only got married in 2005.
Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron also met under tumultuous circumstances. Indeed, Brigitte was Emmanuel’s teacher and she was, at the time, married. She is also much older than him. Just like King Charles and Camilla, the couple doesn’t have children together.
An uncanny resemblance
Finally, it seems important to point out the physical resemblance the couples share. This was highlighted at Versailles, on 20 September.
An in Instagram post by the Royal Family, you see the two couples next to each other and it’s almost looking at a symmetrical image. It does help that both men are wearing a crisp tuxedo and the women gowns of the same dark blue.
Gala: Live Coverage on the Royal visit
Paris Match: Emmanuel et Brigitte Macron, le roi Charles et Camilla : une histoire commune