Paris, March 18 (IANS) Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton visited the French capital, in a diplomatic move that analysts believe is intended to soften a divorce between Britain and the EU.
At the request of Britain’s Foreign Office, the royal couple flew to Paris on Friday, a first stage in a scheduled European Union tour to prepare Britain’s exit form the EU and to bolster bilateral relationships, Xinhua news agency reported.
“This visit opens a new chapter of this long Franco-British relationship turning towards a promising future,” British Ambassador Edward Llewellyn was quoted as saying by local media.
William and Kate will meet French President Francois Hollande “given the historical relations between France and the United Kingdom”, the Elysee Palace said.
The royal couple will visit the military museum Les Invalides with senior French politicians, victims of the 2015 terrorist attacks at the Bataclan theatre in Paris as well as the lorry attack in Nice on Bastille Day last year.
The duo will also attend a reception at the British embassy as guests of honour to launch the “Voisins” (Neighbours) project, aimed at celebrating cultural ties linking the two countries.
William and Kate are also planning to attend the Six Nations rugby international between France and Wales at the Stade de France on Saturday.
The two-day visit is Prince William’s first official trip to the French capital since the tragic death of his mother Diana, the Princess of Wales, in a car accident at the Pont de l’Alma tunnel two decades ago.