The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh to Commemorate the 120th Anniversary of the Entente Cordiale

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The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh attending the Christmas Day morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. December 25, 2023.
The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh attending the Christmas Day morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. December 25, 2023.

THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF EDINBURGH, ON BEHALF OF HIS MAJESTY THE KING, WILL ATTEND A PARADE AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE TO COMMEMORATE THE 120TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ENTENTE CORDIALE

Monday 8th April 2024

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, on behalf of the King, accompanied by the UK Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Patrick Sanders, French Chief of the Army Staff, General Pierre Schill and the French Ambassador to the UK, Her Excellency Hélène Duchêne, will attend a parade to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the Entente Cordiale.

The Entente Cordiale was a diplomatic agreement signed on 8th April 1904 between Britain and France, laying the groundwork for the two nations’ cooperation during World War I.

The event on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace will mark the first time a non-Commonwealth Country, France, has taken part in the Changing of the Guard ceremony.

Thirty-two members of the Gendarmerie’s Garde Républicaine and 40 Guardsmen from the Scots Guards will be seen together on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace.

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, alongside the French Ambassador, will inspect the French and British troops.

The unprecedented appearance by French personnel in the King’s Guard Change ceremony forms part of a longer-term programme of joint UK-French activity that celebrates the two nations’ historic military and diplomatic ties in 2024.

In parallel to events in London, the Elysée Palace in Paris will host British personnel in a similar guard ceremony that has been arranged specially to mark the Entente Cordiale anniversary.

Sixteen soldiers from Number 7 Company Coldstream Guards will join troops from 1er Régiment de la Garde Républicaine to provide the Presidential Guard outside the Elysée Palace in what will be the first ever example of a foreign state guarding the French presidential residence. They will be accompanied by two musicians from the British Army’s Household Division Bands.

The troops will be inspected in the courtyard of the Elysée Palace by President Macron.

The events of 8th April 2024 are the focal point of a year-long programme of joint UK-French military activity that celebrates defence ties between the two nations.

This includes military sporting events, participation in each other’s air shows and major events in Normandy this June to commemorate the heroic service of Allied veterans who fought to liberate France from World War II Germany.

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