Published: 2023-09-22 21:12
Last Updated: 2023-12-02 21:33
King Charles III Friday was greeted by enthusiastic crowds and even had the honor of a hymn sung for him by the Fijian rugby team as he wrapped up a state visit to France with a stop in the southwestern city of Bordeaux.
The 74-year-old British head of state's three days of diplomacy have sought closer cross-Channel links after Brexit but also closer cooperation on environmental issues, his lifelong passion, that is now top of the global political agenda.
The tour, rescheduled from March after unrest in France over pension reforms forced a last-minute postponement, included a glittering state dinner at the Palace of Versailles as well as a landmark address at the Senate, and been largely well received.
Crowds of Union Jack-waving well-wishers gathered outside Bordeaux city hall to welcome Charles and Queen Camilla as they arrived after landing at the city's airport, with the royal couple happily mingling and shaking hands, AFP correspondents said.
The welcome was even more cheerful than that the king and queen received during their stay in Paris, with the royal couple at times lost from view amid a sea of outstretched arms recording the scene for posterity with phones.
"We like this kind of event, just going there and taking photos, because these are social moments, which bring people together," said Marie, a 20-year-old student. "The political culture in France is completely different, but that's what's interesting to see too."
Walking through the center of Bordeaux, Charles and Camilla were also given a rousing welcome by the Fiji rugby team, in town for the World Cup, with the Pacific islanders treating the couple to a full-throated rendition of a hymn