The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have arrived in Paris for their first official tour of the city of lights. It is also Prince William’s first official trip there since his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales was killed in a car accident in the city nearly 20 years ago.
Starting off their two-day visit, the Duke and Duchess were met by French President Francois Hollande on the steps of Elysee Palace where the trio smiled for pictures before heading inside.
During their visit, they will meet with survivors of the terrorist attacks in Paris and Nice, as well as taking in a Six Nations rugby match between France and Wales.
The visit comes after Her Majesty signed her Royal Assent to the Brexit Bill. Le Point, a French political magazine described the royal visit by the Duke and Duchess as a “weapon of glamour against a hard Brexit.”
However, a spokeswoman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “Royal visits play a very important role in the United Kingdom’s bilateral diplomacy.
“Whilst every royal visit is unique, each visit is designed to support foreign policy objectives and promote closer ties across a range of areas, for example cultural, economic or political, between the UK and the host country.”
Friday evening brought that “glamour” out in full force when the Duke and Duchess were the guests of honour at a reception held by Britain’s ambassador Lord Llewellyn.
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) March 17, 2017
Among the guests included actress Kristin Scott Thomas, actors Jean Reno and Audrey Tautou and Robert Pires, a former Arsenal player.
The ambassador said of the trip: “This visit also underlines the very close ties between Britain and France, countries which are allies, which are friends, but more than that, this is something we will be underlining in this visit, we have the ties of neighbours, of neighbouring countries.
“And we will be launching during the Duke and Duchess’s visit a programme entitled Les Voisins – the neighbours – and that is a programme over the course of this year (to) celebrate and highlight and underline the ties that go beyond the traditional ties of government, important though they are.”