Paris and the Royal Visit

Paris & the Royal Visit

Friday 22nd September

The presence of the emergency services is evident all day and night long. After describing Singapore as such a quiet city, by comparison Paris is very noisy with the constant scream of sirens.  Add to this there is also the visit to the city by King Charles. This maybe why the police were roaring around in a speeding, siren screaming parade of 10 to 15 identical vehicles. We believe King Charles is directly responsible for our visit to Versailles having to be made on Tuesday because the Palace was closed by exceptional circumstances on Wednesday.

In an extract the the Guardian ‘King Charles was welcomed at a lavish state banquet at the Palace of Versailles on Wednesday night, at the start of a state visit to reinforce the renewed UK-France relationship after the near total collapse in trust during the Boris Johnson years after Brexit.

In Versailles’ Hall of Mirrors, the famed 17th-century gallery built by the Louis XIV to project the power and majesty of the French monarchy, King Charles told the French president, Emmanuel Macron: “Your generosity of spirit brings to mind how my family and I were so greatly moved by the tributes paid in France to my mother, the late queen … You said that she had touched your hearts – and it was she who held France in the greatest affection.”

He added: “I would like, if you would allow me, to raise a toast to President and Madame Macron and to the French people, as well as to our entente cordiale – a sustainable alliance. Whatever lies ahead, may it endure, faithful and constant, for centuries to come.” He was accompanied by Queen Camilla, who wore a blue silk crepe dress and matching cape by Dior, with diamonds inherited from the late Queen Elizabeth.

More than 150 guests, including Mick Jagger and Hugh Grant, were seated along one vast, 60-metre-long table in order for everyone to be present “at the king’s table”. They were to dine on a lobster and crab dish inspired by the tastes of Louis XIV, followed by French poultry marinaded in champagne and a gratin of French cèpe mushrooms.

A selection of French and English cheeses included stichelton, a British blue cheese similar to stilton that uses unpasteurised milk. Along with a long list of vintage wines and vintage champagne, the dessert was a French macaron with lychee and rose sorbet and raspberry compôte.

There was no foie gras on the menu – the controversial pâté obtained by force-feeding ducks or geese – as the king has banned it from his household.

From early evening at the gilded entrance to the Palace of Versailles – both the seat of the French monarchy and a symbol of the French Revolution of 1789 – a procession of figures from sport, politics and culture walked the red carpet laid over cobblestones.

Mick Jagger

Hugh Grant

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