The British state visit to France continued today with engagements in Paris—and a sartorial nod to one of the most famous royal visits from the past.
King Charles III and Queen Camilla undertook a busy slate of royal engagements on the second day of their state visit to France, beginning with an address by Charles to members of France’s National Assembly.
There were engagements tailored specifically to Queen Camilla’s interests on Thursday, including a visit to the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris with Brigitte Macron.
Both Queen Camilla and Madame Macron delivered remarks during their visit to the National Library.
Their stop at the library was linked to the launch of a new French-British literary prize, which will be awarded for the first time next year.
The Queen and Madame Macron also made a visit to La Maison des Femmes, an organization that supports victims of domestic abuse.
Charles and Camilla also joined Mrs. Macron for a visit to the 19M Campus, which was founded by the famed French fashion house of Chanel.
And then the trio headed to Saint-Denis for a sporty engagement linked to the Rugby World Cup. They met with members of local youth sports organizations, and Queen Camilla even joined in a game of table tennis.
This, naturally, led to some classic Charles photo opportunities.
The day continued with a stop at the Queen Elizabeth II Flower Market in Paris. It was a day of intermittent showers, and Queen Camilla was sure to bring along her traditional royal clear umbrella.
The flower market was renamed in honor of Charles’s late mother during her final state visit to France in 2014.
While in central Paris, the royal couple and the Macrons also visited Notre Dame Cathedral, still undergoing extensive renovations after the devastating fire that heavily damaged the building in April 2019. Restoration work is expected to continue through 2024.
For a busy day of engagements in Paris, Queen Camilla wore a white coat over a printed dress, paired with spectator pumps.
When a Queen of the United Kingdom wears white in Paris, it’s hard not to see a callback to one of the most famous royal wardrobe moments of the past: the white wardrobe worn by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in Paris during the 1938 French state visit. The unexpected passing of Elizabeth’s mother, the Countess of Strathmore, had caused the 1938 visit to be pushed back several weeks. Elizabeth worked with her favorite couturier, Norman Hartnell, to alter her wardrobe for the visit. Rather than making black mourning clothes for the Queen, Hartnell pointed out that white was traditionally a color of royal mourning, and Elizabeth agreed to have her wardrobe for the trip remade using only white fabrics.
The result was an elegant collection of day dresses and evening gowns in white, which would become known as the White Wardrobe. In 2005, the Royal Collection devoted the summer exhibition at Buckingham Palace to Hartnell’s designs and the jewels worn with the various ensembles.
Camilla reinforced the link to the late Queen Mother with her jewelry on Thursday, wearing one of the Queen Mother’s brooches with her favorite diamond and pearl drop earrings.
The brooch in question is made of diamonds and carved rock crystal with black enamel accents.
The Queen Mother most famously wore the brooch in the 1920s when she was still Duchess of York. Above, she wears the brooch on the brim of her hat during the 1927 royal tour of Australia.
Queen Camilla has been wearing the brooch since the early days of her royal marriage. Since her husband’s accession last September, she’s made several appearances in the jewel. One of the earliest came during an impromptu walkabout in London on September 10.
Camilla also wore the brooch for her first official audience as Queen Consort, as well as a visit to the Victoria & Albert Museum, in November 2022.
And she appeared in the brooch at the Royal Maundy service in April 2023. This year’s service was held at York Minster.
Here’s one more look at the brooch in France on Thursday—a nifty little nod to her husband’s beloved grandmother and her famous visit to Paris almost a century ago.