King Charles and Queen Camila have arrived in France and will be guests of honour at a state banquet in the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles before a visit to Bordeaux.
Their trip was rescheduled because of widespread rioting in March.
It is likely like Macron, perhaps for PR purposes, agreed for the visit to coincide with a controversial visit by Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer.
Starmer, who has now completed his international mini-tour whereby he presented himself as the ‘Prime Minister in waiting’, had a meeting Emmanuel Macron in Paris for symbolically significant talks that skirted around specifics of Brexit and migration policy.
After discussions in The Hague with EU law enforcement officials, and weekend meetings with Justin Trudeau and others in Montreal, the Starmer, whose party is predicted to win the next General Election, held 45 minutes of one-to-one talks with the French president at the Élysée Palace.
Starmer later told reporters it had been “very constructive and positive”.
Shortly before the visit, the Labour leader had an interview with a newspaper and promised that a Labour government would seek significant rewrites of Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal when it reaches a review point in 2025.
Both he and Macron also exchanged gifts, with the French President giving Starmer cufflinks with the logo of the French Republic, and Starmer giving him an Arsenal shirt with “Macron” on the back and the number 25 (Macron is the 25th president of France since the country violently got rid of its monarchy).
King Charles speaks French with a heavier accent than his mother, French royal commentator Stéphane Bern said.
Speaking to the BBC, Bern said the late Queen and the Queen Mother shared a deep love of France, and that France was the only country outside the Commonwealth the late Queen loved.
French media have shown a considerable interest in this state visit with many outlets highlighting its symbolism.
One publication said that both the French and British sides want to “revamp” bilateral relations.
Adelaide De Clermont-Tonnerre, managing editor of Point de Vue magazine, said the visit “comes in due time in an effort to rekindle the French-British friendship, which has degraded in recent years.”
“The post-Brexit negotiations have been extremely difficult and particularly harsh,” she added.
De Clermont-Tonnerre also pointed to remarks made last year by then-Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who said the “jury was still out” on whether French President Emmanuel Macron was “friend or foe” of the UK.
Meanwhile, staunchly anti-Brexit British actor Hugh Grant arrived at Versailles with his wife Anna Elisabet Eberstein ahead of a black tie dinner with King Charles, Queen Camilla, and Emmanuel Macron.
During the early evening, King Charles and Macron sat down for a brief chat and photo opportunity.
Tonight will see the King and president sit down for dinner before tomorrow heading off to Bordeaux.