In a landmark address to the French Senate, King Charles delivered a passionate call for greater action to combat climate change, labelling it “the greatest existential threat of all.” The historic speech, the first by a British monarch within the Senate’s debating chamber, highlighted the need for a united effort to safeguard against global warming and environmental devastation.
Royal Climate Advocacy
In his address on Thursday morning at the Paris Senate, King Charles emphasised the urgency of addressing climate change, stating, “We must stand together to protect against global warming, climate change, and the catastrophic destruction of nature.” While the King did not directly criticise his own government, his words came amidst controversy over British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s decision to delay climate change targets for the public.
A Green “Entente of Sustainability”
King Charles called for a reform of the traditional ‘Entente Cordiale,’ the historic alliance between France and Britain, to transform it into a green “Entente of Sustainability.” This proposal aims to align the two nations in a shared commitment to environmental conservation.
This momentous speech occurred during King Charles’s ongoing state visit to France, coinciding with the 231st anniversary of the founding of the French Republic. Speaking fluently in both French and English inside the Luxembourg Palace, the King sought to impress a diverse audience that included senators and MPs from the nearby National Assembly.
A Strong Bond
The King highlighted the enduring friendship between France and the United Kingdom, stating, “Quite simply, the United Kingdom will always be one of France’s closest allies and best friends.” He acknowledged the deep respect and admiration that the late Queen Elizabeth II received in France, emphasising her role as a symbol of the bond between the two nations.
Following the historic speech, King Charles and Queen Camilla continued their engagements in France. Queen Camilla and Brigitte Macron, the wife of President Emmanuel Macron, enjoyed a game of table tennis at a sports centre near Paris. King Charles received a special gift from Paris Saint-Germain: a football shirt bearing his name and the number three, signifying his title as King Charles III.
The royal couple also immersed themselves in French culture by visiting the central Paris Flower Market, named in honour of Queen Elizabeth II. They further visited the Notre-Dame cathedral to witness ongoing restoration work following the devastating fire in 2019.
Stay tuned for further updates on King Charles’s state visit to France and his advocacy for climate action.