King Charles and Macron Join Forces

( – Ever since Britain pulled out of the European Union, things have been a bit tense between the country and France. In late 2021, NPR did a piece on the nations’ relationship. The writer, Eleanor Beardsley, noted that some were saying things hadn’t been this bad since the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

On top of Brexit, there was also an issue involving some migrants who drowned in the English Channel trying to cross from France to Britain. In the wake of the tragedy, former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reportedly wrote to French President Emmanuel Macron, telling him to take back migrants who successfully make their way across. Macron was apparently “outraged,” only adding to the tension between Britain and France. Now, King Charles III is trying to mend fences.

What Happened?

On Wednesday, September 20, His Majesty and his wife, Queen Camilla, arrived for a visit in France. King Charles III spoke with the French parliament on Thursday, stating his desire for Britain and France to work together to combat climate change, global warming, and Russia’s “unjustified aggression” toward Ukraine. He said if the two countries work together on these issues, their “potential is limitless.” The king urged the parliamentarians to honor France and Britain’s previous entente cordiale, bringing them together during World War I and World War II.

He said honoring the previous cooperation would benefit future generations and allow them to tackle big issues together and succeed. King Charles also seemed confident that Ukraine would prevail with France and Britain together at its back.

The event marked the first time a British monarch made a speech in the French parliament chamber. His Majesty received a long, standing ovation following his words from both the country’s senators and MPs.

What Else Did He Do?

The king and queen spent three days in France, first visiting the Arc de Triomphe to lay a wreath. There, the pair were welcomed by the president and Madame Macron. The French leader posted on social media, stating “You visited as a Prince, you return as a King. Your Majesty, welcome.” The post was accompanied by a video montage of then-Prince Charles and his visits to the country interwoven with the royal figure returning to his current position.

After his speech at the parliament, the Macrons took the royal couple to visit the Notre Dame cathedral, which fell victim to fire in 2019. About 1,000 people have been working to restore the 12th-century building to its former glory. They also visited a flower market on the Ile de la Cité on the River Seine named after King Charles’ mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

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