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Speech by the Duke of Cambridge at the British Embassy to launch “Les Voisins”

Tonight in Paris, at the British Embassy, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a reception to celebrate the commonalities and strong ties between the British and French; the event is called “Les Voisins”, or “neighbours”. The visit to the French capital by the Duke and Duchess has been said to strengthen relations as The Queen has given her assent for Prime Minister May to begin the withdrawal process of the UK from the EU.

The Duke and Duchess arrived in Paris and met with President Francois Hollande before making their way to the British Embassy where Prince William gave his first of two speeches on Friday. You can read the Duke’s first speech below.

“Merci, Monsieur l’Ambassadeur, pour ces mots.

De la part de Catherine et moi même, nous sommes tout à fait ravis d’être à Paris et d’être parmi vous ce soir.”

Translated to:

“Thank you, Ambassador, for those words.

“On behalf of Catherine and I, we are delighted to be in Paris and to be with you tonight.”

Then the Duke continued in English:

“And forgive me if I now continue in the language of Shakespeare, so as to reduce the risk of mangling the language of Molière.

“It is a pleasure for Catherine and me to be here this evening, in this beautiful, elegant, and global city.

“As the Ambassador said, the connections between our nations run deep – ties of history, ties of values, ties of friendship and family.

“And ties born, above all, of the fact that our countries are neighbours.

“So much of our countries’ histories, culture and language are intertwined. Those ties of neighbours which run through our history are as powerful today as they have ever been.

“Most fundamentally, our nations share a set of common values: democracy, free speech, the rule of law, among many others.

“I have been reminded over the last few years, as Catherine and I have attended commemorations of the two World Wars, how much we have experienced together and have stood together in moments of great crisis.

“Our relationship is just as strong and enduring today. Our hearts went out to the people of France when you responded so bravely to the awful terrorist attacks of the last two years. I was very proud personally to have been present at the England-France football match just days after the Bataclan.

“Our intelligence agencies and security forces are working together night and day to counter the continuing threats.

“Our armed forces are working more closely together than they have ever done – over the skies of Syria and Iraq, or here in Europe.

“And our Governments work closely together to resolve some of the world’s most complex issues – whether in the Middle East, Africa or elsewhere.

“This deep friendship between the United Kingdom and France, forged in sweat and blood, is one that will endure.

“Our relationship is greater, of course, than security and global partnership.

“Catherine and I have been honoured to meet many of you tonight. You have all been invited because you remind us that our two nations also share something else in common: talented, creative young people who are already shaping the world around us – whether in science, music, film, commerce, politics, sport, academia – I could go on, as this list touches practically every area of our national lives.

“Like all neighbours, sometimes our two nations encourage each other through mutual support. Sometimes we attempt to outdo the other through rivalry – as we will see tomorrow when Wales play France at the rugby. But always our two nations continually inspire one another to become better: more creative, more prosperous, more innovative.

“This partnership will continue despite Britain’s recent decision to leave the European Union. The depth of our friendship and the breadth of our cooperation will not change.

“So I am proud to be here this evening with you to launch Les Voisins to recount those ties and to strengthen them even further.

“Before I came here, Her Majesty The Queen reminded me of how much she has enjoyed her many visits to France.

“It is a feeling that Catherine and I entirely share, and look forward to this and many more visits in the years to come – to France our ally, our friend, our neighbour.

“C’est vraiment un plaisir d’être ici à Paris ce soir.

“Bonne soiréet”

Translated to: “It’s really a pleasure to be here in Paris tonight. Good evening.”

  • UF

    Good thing the Foreign & Commonwealth Office has good speech writers. There is no way Prince William wrote this. HRH is not this conversant with the language of Shakespeare.

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