‘Relationship has been strained’ - Michael Cole highlights ‘hugely important’ royal visit to France

‘Relationship has been strained’ - Michael Cole highlights ‘hugely important’ royal visit to France
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 20/09/2023

- 14:22

Updated: 20/09/2023

- 14:34

Michael Cole has highlighted the importance of King Charles' visit to France alongside Queen Camilla.

Speaking on Breakfast with Eamonn and Isabel, the Royal Commentator detailed the agenda for the British Monarch's trip to Paris, and his meeting with President Emmanuel Macron.

Cole said: “In royal terms, a state visit to France is big medicine indeed. There will be wreath laying at the Arc de Triomphe in memory of the hundreds of thousands of French, British and Irish soldiers who died on the soil of France, and there will be this splendid banquet this evening at Versailles in the Hall of Mirrors. 180 people at a table 180 feet long. Why such a big table? So that everybody present can say I sat the King's table.

“The Queen, will be meeting with Madame Macron. They're setting up a Franco-British literary prize. On the sporting front, there'll be meetings with some of the players who are there in the Rugby World Cup and of course, besides the British players, they're the Irish players, the Welsh, the Scots, the Australians and the New Zealanders, so plenty of people for the King and the Queen to meet.”

Cole continued: “These visits, state visits to France are very, very important. The basis of our relationship with France was the 1904 Entente Cordiale and that was sealed by Edward the 7th, the King's great great grandfather, when he kissed the hand of a French actress and said, Madam, you are as beautiful as France itself. Now that actually was the clincher, because only six years before we'd almost gone to war with France over the Fashoda Incident, we've been on bad terms with France for ages.

“But since that 1904 Entente Cordiale, we've been allies through two world wars from time to time. The relationship has been strained, of course it has, but there have been other very important state visits, 1938, King George the 6th and Queen Elizabeth, later the Queen Mother.

“Just before the visit her mother died and they didn't postpone. And very cleverly, the Queen wore a wardrobe all of white, which is the alternate color for mourning. And she created a sensation in France, which is very hard to do for British people to lead in fashion, but she did and everybody went wild for her.

“So great things are in prospect. And this is, as Eamonn indicated, a very important visit.”

Watch the interview in full above.

Tune in to Breakfast with Eamonn and Isabel, Monday to Thursday from 6am, only on GB News.

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