PARIS — Britain’s King Charles III on Wednesday urged France and the United Kingdom to revitalize their relations, as the two countries seek to improve relations after several acrimonious years marked by Brexit negotiations.
On the first day of a three-day state visit to France, the king said it was “the duty of all of us to reinvigorate our friendship to ensure it is ready to meet the challenge of the 21st century.” . Speaking at a banquet hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron at the Palace of Versailles, the king said he looked forward to a renewal of the Cordial agreement between France and the United Kingdom, an alliance which will celebrate its 120th anniversary next year.
The British monarch did not directly mention Brexit but alluded to relations between the two countries which had not “always been entirely straightforward”.
The banquet dinner took place in the Galerie des Glaces in Versailles, a place long associated in France with privilege, absolute monarchy and the French Revolution. The banquet was attended by stars, business leaders and politicians from both sides of the Channel, including rock star Mick Jagger, former football manager Arsène Wenger and the world’s second richest man, Bernard Arnault .
During his toast, Macron said France and the United Kingdom would meet the future challenges of the modern world together despite the tensions created by Brexit.
“Despite Brexit… I am sure, Your Majesty, that we will continue to write together part of the future of our continent,” declared the French president.