After Engaging in Pageantry and Politics in Paris, King Charles III Concludes State Visit in Bordeaux, Prioritizing Climate Initiatives and Wine Tasting
Following a three-day state visit to France, King Charles III and Queen Camilla shifted their focus to environmental concerns in Bordeaux. The royal couple planted a loquat leaf oak tree, symbolizing adaptability to climate change, at Bordeaux City Hall's garden. Locals expressed their support with French and British flags, cheering "God Save The King" as the couple greeted well-wishers.
French firefighters, who aided in battling wildfires in Bordeaux last year, shared maps and photos of the devastation with the U.K. monarch. They guided him through an experimental forest designed to monitor climate impact on urban woodlands.
The royal visit concluded with a tour of Chateau Smith-Haut-Lafitte winery, known for its sustainable winemaking. Owners Florence and Daniel Cathiard, accompanied by their pet llama, hosted Charles and Camilla through the vineyard. The royal couple clinked glasses in farewell.
The Bordeaux region, heavily reliant on wine exports, grappled with severe drought last year, prompting early harvesting. The visit aimed to strengthen the alliance between Britain and France, addressing issues arising from Brexit and migration disputes.
Switching to eco-friendly transport, the king and queen rode an electric tram through Bordeaux, waving to crowds along the route. At a fair celebrating British and French businesses, Charles sampled whisky from his Highgrove estate's barley and enjoyed local wine.
Bordeaux's Aquitaine region, historically contested by English and French royalty, houses a significant British community. The royal couple also attended a reception on a royal navy frigate in Bordeaux to commemorate military ties.
During an address to the French Senate, Charles emphasized the indispensable relationship between France and the United Kingdom. He called for a new 'entente for sustainability,' expressing concern about climate change and Russia's war in Ukraine.
Despite Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's announcement of revising some climate commitments, Charles, a longstanding environmental advocate, maintained his focus on climate issues. As a constitutional monarch, he refrains from direct involvement in government policy, adhering to U.K. traditions.