Queen Elizabeth's love affair with France
Sarah Coates

From choosing Paris for her very first overseas trip to visiting the Elysée more times than any other foreign sovereign in history, the Queen was the "friend of France" that Emmanuel Macron referred to in his tribute on Monday. 

The French President joined other world leaders in London, along with millions of people from around the world on their TV screens, honoring the late Queen Elizabeth II, as she was laid to rest at a grand state funeral on Monday in the UK capital.

The 96-year-old monarch passed away on September 8, triggering a global outpouring of grief.


In Paris, President Macron remembered the late Queen. He said: "She held a special status in France and a special place in the hearts of the French people. No foreign sovereign has climbed the stairs of the Élysée Palace more often than she, who honored France with six state visits and met each of its presidents.

"For her, French was not a mere relic of Normandy ancestry that persisted in so many customs, but an intimate, cherished language. 

"The Queen of 16 kingdoms loved France, which loved her back. The people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth are mourning their Queen. The people of France join them in their grief."

Queen Elizabeth was a regular visitor to France. /James Whatling/MEGA

Queen Elizabeth was a regular visitor to France. /James Whatling/MEGA

Queen Elizabeth made her first trip in her official capacity to Paris, where she climbed the stairs of the Élysée Palace, giving a speech in French, in which she was fluent after studying the language since she was a young girl.

On Sunday evening, Macron delivered a picture book of all the Queen's visits to France to her son, King Charles III, with the French President then telling reporters that he made the trip to London to '"share the grief of the British people."

On Monday, flags on all public buildings in France were being flown at half-mast in a show of respect for the Queen, while tributes continue to be left for the late monarch at landmarks across the capital.

Her place in the hearts of the French and the interest she garnered has been on show since her death, with rolling media coverage from all major media outlets across the country on Monday, as the Queen was laid to rest at Westminster Abbey in London.

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