Kings Charles set to make first State visit to France - after bonding with Macron
The King met Macron at the Cop26 summit in 2021 describing the event as a 'precious opportunity' to help save the planet
King Charles is set to make his first state visit to France - as early as next month - rather than a Commonwealth country.
The Foreign Office, who have the final say over royal visits, are said to be keen to leverage the 'soft power' of the royal family to 'build bridges with major European powers' post-Brexit.
The Telegraph reported that the first state visit was likely to be a 'European neighbour' ahead of a bigger Commonwealth-wide tour, and France is a key strategic partner as both a Nato ally and in the Government's commitment to stopping the flow of illegal channel crossings.
In addition, a visit to France would also likely promote a major tree-planting project in Africa which has won the support of both President Macron and the King.
Known as the Great Green Wall project - the scheme aims to plant 30 miles of trees along the African continent, intended to replace depleted forests.
The ambitious scheme aims to plant a 30-mile-wide belt of trees across the entire continent of Africa to halt the spread of the Sahara desert and replace forests lost elsewhere.
President Macron paid a heartfelt tribute to the late Queen, saying the French people 'felt an emptiness' following her death and adding 'To you, she was your Queen. To us, she was The Queen'.
Mr Macron has confirmed that he had issued an invitation to the King to make a State visit to France, saying: “I had the opportunity to invite King Charles to come to France when it is appropriate for him.
“I think the British people and the King felt France’s deep affection for them and the emotion we shared.”
Sources also told the Telegraph that Germany would also be near the top of a list for a visit from the King and Queen Consort, suggesting that the monarch would travel on to Berlin after France.
It's likely that the first Commonwealth countries to receive a state visit will be Australia and New Zealand at some point in 2023 - King Charles has not been to Australia since 2018.
The royal family are still observing a seven-day period of royal mourning - with King Charles currently at Windsor Castle.