7 Causes The Queen Liked France (and why France will at all times keep in mind her)

It was with heavy hearts yesterday night (8 September 2022) that we learn the information of the dying of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-ruling monarch, who has been on the throne for an unimaginable 70 years and 214 days. Because the UK goes into mourning and tributes flood in from nations all around the globe, we have a look again at The Queen’s extraordinary legacy and shine the highlight on her particular reference to La Belle France.

From selecting Paris for her very first abroad journey to visiting the Elysée extra occasions than every other international sovereign in historical past, The Queen was very a lot the “buddy of France” that French President Emmanuel Macron referred to in his tribute.

Listed below are seven particular explanation why The Queen cherished France and why France will at all times keep in mind her.

1. Queen Elizabeth’s first ever journey abroad was to France

The longer term monarch made her first go to to France in Could 1948 at 22 years outdated for a four-day journey to Paris. In reality, it wasn’t simply her first journey to Paris; it was her very first time travelling abroad.

The journey got here months after her marriage to Philip Mountbatten (who would later turn into Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh) in November 1947, and—though it wasn’t disclosed to the general public on the time—the Princess was already pregnant together with her first son, Charles (now King Charles III).

Throughout her Parisian séjour, Princess Elizabeth attended the Opéra Garnier, visited the Flower Market within the Ile de la Cité, met President Auriol on the Elysée, and loved a particular date night time alongside Rue Pierre Charon, the place Edith Piaf sang “La Vie en Rose” for the younger couple. Whereas on a 2014 state go to to France, The Queen referenced this memorable second, saying, “I recall my very own happiness, discovering this stunning nation for myself and for the primary time, and growing my very own nice affection for the French individuals.”

2. Her Majesty made six state visits to France throughout her reign

Queen Elizabeth II made six official state visits to France throughout her reign, greater than to every other European nation outdoors of the UK. Her first state go to passed off in April 1957, 4 years after her coronation, throughout which era she visited the Palace of Versailles, the Paris Opera, and the Louvre; loved a Seine River cruise with Prince Philip; and likewise visited Lille to put a wreath on the WWI memorial.

She made additional state visits to France in 1972 (Paris), 1992 (Paris, Blois, and Bordeaux), 1994 (Calais), 2004 (Paris and Toulouse), and 2014 (Paris and Normandy), and was obtained by French Presidents René Coty, Georges Pompidou, François Mitterrand, Jacques Chirac, and François Hollande.

Bonus truth: no international sovereign has visited the Élysée Palace extra occasions than Queen Elizabeth II!

Many French Presidents have additionally been invited by The Queen for state visits to the UK, from Charles de Gaulle, who visited in 1960, to President Emmanuel Macron in 2020.

3. The Queen can also be the Duke of Normandy

Queen Elizabeth II held many titles, however maybe probably the most intriguing to Francophiles is that she was additionally the Duke of Normandy. This historic title dates again to the Center Ages, and particularly, to the treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte (911) between King Charles III of West Francia and the Viking chief Rollo.

The title was handed right down to Queen Elizabeth II because the British monarch guidelines over the Channel Islands (Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and Sark), which make up the final remaining a part of the previous ‘Duchy of Normandy’.

And sure, bizarrely, although the title would usually be transformed to “Duchess” for a feminine ruler, this specific title doesn’t comply with custom, and so Queen Elizabeth II was additionally “Duke of Normandy”.

4. The Queen and Prince Philip vacationed in France

The Queen and Prince Philip didn’t solely go to France throughout their six state visits; additionally they loved many different unofficial visits to France over time. Among the many many French locations The Queen is reported to have visited are Normandy, Strasbourg, the Loire Valley, Bordeaux, the medieval metropolis of Carcassonne, and Burgundy.

However she seemingly by no means visited the Mont St Michel monastery, the lavender fields of Provence, or the seashores of the French Riviera.

5. The Queen inaugurated the Channel Tunnel

For those who’ve travelled between the UK and France lately, there’s a superb likelihood that you simply’ve skilled a journey on the Eurotunnel Shuttle or Eurostar practice. In reality, it’s turn into so regular to ‘take the practice’ to France that it’s onerous to do not forget that 30 years in the past, this was an unthinkable enterprise!

The opening of the Channel Tunnel, the 50.46-kilometre (31.35-mile) lengthy underwater railway tunnel, was an unprecedented feat – not solely measuring in because the longest underwater tunnel on the earth however offering a bodily hyperlink between Nice Britain and the European mainland for the primary time in historical past.

Naturally, The Queen was current on the inauguration of the Channel Tunnel on 6 Could 1994, the place she minimize the pink ribbon together with French President François Mitterrand on the French terminal of Coquelles close to Calais.

6. France gifted The Queen a horse for her Platinum Jubilee

In June 2022, as The Queen marked her Platinum Jubilee with a four-day financial institution vacation and a busy schedule of parades, concert events, and festivities within the UK, France was among the many many nations around the globe to hitch the celebrations.

French President Emmanuel Macron recorded a touching video message for the Queen, nevertheless it was France’s reward to the monarch that was particularly poignant. The Queen was gifted a seven-year-old “Selle Français” horse, Fabuleu de Maucour, alongside a ceremonial saddle.

The Queen’s long-standing ardour for equestrianism is well-known, however what many don’t know is that she has lengthy been an admirer of French equestrian traditions and breeding. Queen Elizabeth II visited stud farms in Normandy on lots of her journeys to France, in addition to attending the Longchamp horse races and watching performances of the Cadre Noir of Saumur.

7. French was The Queen’s second language

The Queen’s love of France went a lot deeper than merely visiting the UK’s nearest neighbour – in reality, in response to the official Royal Household web site, she can also be fluent in French. Queen Elizabeth II began studying French as a younger woman and gave a number of speeches in French all through her reign, additional cementing her hyperlinks with the French nation.

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