King Charles III to be given right royal welcome at France’s Versailles palace | EUROtoday

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For his first state go to as sovereign to France, which had to be postponed for six months due to riots, Britain’s King Charles III will obtain the gold commonplace of French welcomes — a reception at the Palace of Versailles.

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The palace, which was the seat of the monarchy earlier than the French Revolution of 1789, is now a museum, however it’s nonetheless utilized by French presidents to host leaders they need to impress, from Queen Victoria to Vladimir Putin.

‘Long stay the king!’

France, which beheaded its personal king and queen, has a long-running love affair with the British royal household and over the previous 170 years has usually wined and dined them at Versailles.

Emperor Napoleon III threw a ball for 1,200 visitors at the royal opera in Versailles when Queen Victoria visited in 1855, the primary journey to Paris by a British monarch in 400 years.

In 1938, as Europe stood on the brink of one other world warfare, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth swept into Paris to cries of “Long live the king!” and have been too hosted at Versailles, on this case for lunch.

Less than twenty years later, president Rene Coty pulled out all of the stops for the younger Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s longest-serving monarch who died final yr, on her first state go to to France together with her husband Prince Philip.

After an evening at the Paris Opera, the pair had lunch in Versailles’ Hall of Mirrors, the place the World War I reparations treaty was famously signed in 1919.

Fondness for foie gras

The land the place meals is king has served up an eye-popping array of delicacies for its British guests.

But Victoria, identified for her voracious urge for food, had solely faint reward for French delicacies, writing that whereas “the fowl and bouillon are quite delicious” French cooking has “less variety than ours”.

Her son Edward VII was handled to a 16-course feast in 1903, full with fattened rooster, quail and glazed geese.

By Elizabeth II’s time, the menu had been slimmed down to 4 or 5 programs, with one recurring staple: foie gras.

The Francophile queen had a keenness for the controversial pate obtained by force-feeding geese or geese, however it’s unlikely to characteristic on the menu for Charles, who has banned it from his family.

Open for enterprise

Versailles has hosted many distinguished commoners as nicely.

In the post-war years, president Charles de Gaulle used it to host John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon after they have been US presidents, in addition to the Shah of Iran.

Socialist president Francois Mitterrand threw open the palace gates to communists, when he used it to host Soviet chief Mikhail Gorbachev.

By distinction, Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande not often used Versailles, except late Libyan chief Moamer Kadhafi for the previous and Chinese President Xi Jinping for the latter.

In 2017, earlier than Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine turned him right into a pariah, Russian President Vladimir Putin was welcomed there by his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.

Macron has additionally used Versailles to tout France’s charms to overseas buyers, together with Tesla founder and X (previously Twitter) proprietor Elon Musk who was invited to a enterprise summit there in May.