King Charles III’s state visits: when will he travel to France and Germany and will Queen Consort Camilla go?

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It comes as the ointment to be used at his coronation in May has been consecrated in Jerusalem

King Charles III is set to make his first foreign state visits, with trips to France and Germany being confirmed by Buckingham Palace.

The announcement has come as preparations ramp up for the monarch’s coronation in May. The ointment set to be used in the ceremony, which will be a bank holiday for people across the UK, was consecrated in Jerusalem on Saturday (4 March).

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However, not everything appears to be going to plan for the King as splits in the Royal Family continue to make headlines. The most recent fallout has seen Harry and Meghan kicked out of Frogmore Cottage, with Prince Andrew said to have been offered the Windsor mansion after having been barred from Buckingham Palace.

Speculation is growing about whether or not the Sussexes will attend the coronation. There have been reports Prime Minister Rishi Sunak may be forced to intervene to prevent them from going to the Westminster Abbey event.

But for now the King’s focus will be on his upcoming trips to Europe. So, when will Charles III make his state visits - and what will his itinerary look like?

Where will King Charles III’s state visits be?

King Charles is set to visit both France and Germany over a six-day tour that will take place later this month. He will travel with Queen Consort Camilla to Paris on Sunday 26 March, before moving on to Berlin on Wednesday 29 March.

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While the state visits have been in planning for several months, the timing is highly convenient for the Rishi Sunak administration given the recent Windsor Framework Brexit deal for Northern Ireland - an agreement in principle between the UK and EU that has greatly thawed diplomatic relations between them. Indeed, a key feature of the talks was the EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen meeting the King.

The King and Queen Consort will visit France and Germany in late March (image: AFP/Getty Images)The King and Queen Consort will visit France and Germany in late March (image: AFP/Getty Images)
The King and Queen Consort will visit France and Germany in late March (image: AFP/Getty Images) | POOL/AFP via Getty Images

A Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) official told the PA news agency that the government was eager to have a strong and close relationship with Europe. It also quoted a source who said the “unique ceremonial elements” of the trip reflected the “strength” of the reset relationship.

The official Buckingham Palace spokesperson said of the state visits: “[They] will celebrate the UK’s relationship with France and Germany, marking our shared histories, culture and values.

“It is also a chance to look forwards and show the many ways our countries are working in partnership, whether that be to tackle climate change, respond to the conflict in Ukraine, seize trade and investment opportunities or share the best of our arts and culture.

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“As well as speaking to the strength of the United Kingdom’s bilateral relationships with France and Germany, Their Majesties’ visit will include engagements highlighting the importance of sustainability and community – key themes which have been embraced by citizens of all our countries.”

What will King Charles do on his state visits?

The King and Queen Consort will have a packed schedule when they visit France and Germany. It will contain many firsts for a UK head of state.

King Charles will become the first UK monarch to give a speech in France’s senate chamber, before becoming the first UK sovereign to address German politicians in the Bundestag. Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate will also be used as the backdrop to welcome Charles and Camilla to Germany - the first time the historic landmark has been used to welcome a foreign head of state.

Other highlights will include the King and Queen Consort joining French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron for a remembrance ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe, where the heads of state will lay wreaths in memory of those who died in the two World Wars.

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The King meets EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in a sign of improving relations between the UK and EU (image: AFP/Getty Images)The King meets EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in a sign of improving relations between the UK and EU (image: AFP/Getty Images)
The King meets EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in a sign of improving relations between the UK and EU (image: AFP/Getty Images) | POOL/AFP via Getty Images

They will then form a procession that will head down the Champs Elysees, ahead of Charles holding talks with Macron at the Elysee Palace - the official residence of the French President. Camilla and Mrs Macron will also open a new exhibition at the Musee d’Orsay that will showcase paintings by Manet and Degas.

Another element of the French part of the trip will involve the King visiting Bordeaux, where he will head to an organic vineyard and meet emergency crews who battled wildfires that hit the famous wine-making region during last summer’s intense heatwave.

In Germany, Charles and Camilla will meet German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife Elke Budenbender at the Brandenburg Gate, before visiting some of the millions of Ukrainian refugees who have fled to the Russian invasion of their country.

Away from Berlin, the Royals will travel to the northern city of Hamburg, where they will hold a ceremony of remembrance for victims of bombing raids by the Allies during the Second World War. This service will take place at the St Nikolai Memorial, the remains of a church which was destroyed along with most of the rest of the urban centre in 1943 in an attack known as Operation Gomorrah.

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