King Charles III on Wednesday embarked on his first state visit to France as monarch, a three-day trip aimed at showing that the fundamentals of the cross-Channel alliance remains strong despite a litany of political tensions after Brexit.
Charles and President Emmanuel Macron were driven down the Champs-Elysees in Paris for talks at the Elysee Palace, escorted by 136 horses of the Republican Guard and standing up with the car roof open to acknowledge the few thousand people lining the famed avenue.
The trip, initially planned for March, was supposed to have been Charles' first state visit abroad since becoming monarch on the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. But it was shelved due to widespread rioting and strikes across France against pension reforms.
The original itinerary in Paris and the southwestern city of Bordeaux -- packed with ceremony and pomp in a country that abolished its monarchy in the 1789 revolution and then executed the king -- is largely unchanged.
The king and Queen Camilla were welcomed at Paris Orly airport by Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, with the visit blessed by pristine autumn clear skies, an AFP correspondent said.
They then paused to remember war dead by laying wreaths at the Arc de Triomphe monument in the capital.
Driven down the Champs-Elysees, Macron and the king were seen chatting amicably while Camilla and Macron's wife Brigitte followed behind in a similar vehicle.
After their talks at the Elysee, Charles and Macron walked the short distance to the residence of the British ambassador, pausing to shake hands with well-wishers on the upscale Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honore.
The French president, who has dealt with no fewer than four UK premiers over the last half-decade, is known to have a strong personal rapport with Charles.
Charles on Thursday addresses lawmakers in the French Senate, again following in the footsteps of his mother who did the same in 2004.
Charles' visit is seen as the follow-up to moves by UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to reset relations between the two neighbours after post-Brexit turbulence. (AFP)