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Royal News

The Edinburghs witness historic Changing of the Guard parade

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh led celebrations at Buckingham Palace to mark the 120th anniversary of the Entente Cordiale.

To mark the anniversary, British and French soldiers took part in Changing of the Guard ceremonies at their counterparts’ palaces.

Edward and Sophie therefore watched as 32 members of the 1st and 2nd Infantry regiments of the Garde Republicaine undertook the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace.

Meanwhile, in Paris, President Emmanuel Macron watched 16 soldiers from the Number 7 Company Coldstream Guards take part in the Presidential Guard at the Elysée Palace.

President Macron shared on X: “As Queen Elizabeth II said: ‘Long live the difference, but long live the Entente Cordiale.’” 

Edward and Sophie inspected the Guard before the ceremony, which also included 40 members of the F Company Scots Guards.

The Entente Cordiale was a series of agreements signed on 8 April 1904 that marked improved relations between the United Kingdom and France after hundreds of years of intermittent conflicts.

According to Buckingham Palace, the events surrounding the Entente Cordiale are the “focal point” of a year of joint UK-French military activities to celebrate the defence ties between the two nations.

Other events lined up include “military sporting events, participation in each other’s air shows, and major events in Normandy this June to commemorate the heroic service of Allied veterans who fought to liberate France from World War II Germany.”

During a State Visit to France last autumn, King Charles said of the Entente Cordiale: “As we look ahead to the 120th anniversary of the Entente Cordiale in 2024, it is incumbent upon us all to reinvigorate our friendship to ensure it is fit for the challenges of this, the 21st Century.”

Edward and Sophie were joined by General Sir Patrick Sanders, the Chief of the Defence Staff; General Pierre Schill, the French Chief of the Army Staff; and Ambassador Hélène Duchêne, the French Ambassador to the United Kingdom.

About author

Jess Ilse is the Assistant Editor at Royal Central. She specialises in the British, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Royal Families and has been following royalty since Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. Jess has provided commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Jess works in communications and her debut novel THE MAJESTIC SISTERS will publish in Fall 2024.