Paris, Sep 21 (EFE) – The fight against climate change has become the central theme of the state visit of King Charles III of England to France, where on his second day, Thursday, he proposed an “entente cordiale” between the two countries to fight this threat that is “destroying the planet.”
This he did in a speech delivered in the French Senate, the first of a British monarch before the French legislature, central act of the day, and the only time that Charles III was scheduled to speak publicly.
Before French and British parliamentarians, Charles III used the symbolic treaty signed in 1904 by his great-great-grandfather Edward VII and the then French president, Felix Fauré, known as the “Entente cordiale,” which ended centuries of rivalry and opened a period of cooperation that was verified during the two world wars.
“Let us renew it for future generations so that it becomes an ‘entente’ for sustainability, to respond effectively to the global urgency on climate and biodiversity,” the monarch said.
Supported by his ecological reputation, the King of England put that objective at the center of the relations between the two countries. However, Paris and London are not aligned on the path to follow to preserve the planet.
At a time when London is moving closer to Europe after suffering the first consequences of Brexit, Charles III recalled the successes achieved when the UK and France marched hand in hand and advocated deepening this path to meet the challenges of the moment.
Whether it is in Ukraine, where in the face of “a new unjustified aggression” in Europe “80 years after we fought side by side together for the liberation” of the continent, to the fight against climate change, Charles III considered that the alliance between the two countries “has unlimited potential.”
Much applauded, the monarch continued his visit, accompanied by Queen Camilla, who went with the French first lady, Brigitte Macron, to the National Library to present a Franco-British literary prize.
The royal couple headed to Saint-Denis, a town north of Paris, where they visited a fan zone of the Rugby World Cup that France is hosting these days, an establishment promoting the sport among young people with problems, and where they received a Paris Saint-Germain jersey from the hands of its president, Nasser Al-Khelaifi.
They then visited the Saint-Denis basilica, where the remains of most of the kings of France lie, and a workshop of haute couture companies before heading to the capital’s center.
They first visited the Ile de la Cité flower market in the Seine River, renamed a few years ago with the name of Elizabeth II, which Charles III asked to visit.
They also visited the construction site of Notre Dame Accompanied by the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, where they visited the restoration works of the cathedral after the 2019 fire.
There, they were joined on the visit by French President Emmanuel Macron, with whom they listened to the testimony of firefighters who fought the flames and to several artisans working on the total renovation of the cathedral, scheduled for next year.
Charles III, head of the Anglican Church, was moved by the fire that razed the roof of Notre Dame and asked to visit the temple during his first trip to France after his coronation.
During the visit, for about 20 minutes, they could not enter the temple because the works developed in its interior did not allow it.
The King of England and Macron later went to the Natural History Museum, where they closed a Franco-British business forum on the fight against climate change.
The French president paid tribute to the king for his “early” ecological commitment, which, he said, “served to raise awareness of this problem” but also to “raise funds” in the fight against climate change.
The British royal couple concluded their second day’s visit to France at the Elysee Palace, where they were received by Macron and his wife, Brigitte, for an informal meeting.
Charles III and Camilla will end their state visit this Friday in Bordeaux, the first French city to twin with a British one and which, during the Middle Ages, was part of the Duchy of Aquitaine, then vassal of the English crown.
There, where an estimated 39,000 Britons reside, she will visit some vineyards and local businesses while maintaining the environmental character of the trip.