Queen Camilla and Brigitte Macron get the goggles

The best of friends! Queen Camilla and Brigitte Macron get the giggles at the French National Library after sharing a sweet moment at Versailles last night

  • The Queen and the French First Lady looked cosy on their visit 
  • READ MORE: Camilla’s glittering tribute to Her Majesty: Queen Consort wears her mother-in-law’s George VI Sapphire necklace and matching earrings as she joins the Macrons for banquet at Palace of Versailles

Queen Camilla and Brigitte Macron put on another pally display today as they paid a visit to the French National Library.

The Queen, 76, and First Lady of France, 70, who appeared to forge a firm friendship yesterday evening at the Palace of Versailles when Brigitte helped Camilla with her striking Dior cape on the red carpet, looked similarly cosy this morning.

Brigitte opted for a red French-cut tweed suit jacket in the style of classic Chanel, and wore her thick blonde bob in its signature voluminous blow-dry. 

Meanwhile Queen Camilla looked elegant in white as she donned a fitted and flared coat from Fiona Clare, layered on top of a black and white patterned dress. She paired it with Chanel shoes and bag and a diamond Cartier brooch.

As the Queen and First Lady posed for photos during their visit, they both appeared to get the giggles – with Brigitte even putting her hand over her mouth to try and contain her laughter – and Camilla made her best attempt at delivering a speech in French.  

Brigitte Macron and Queen Camilla appeared to get the giggles when they posed for photos at the French National Library this morning

Queen Camilla looked elegant in a black and white patterned dress layered with a fitted and flared white coat while Brigitte opted for a red tweed long jacket and black trousers

Queen Camilla looked in her element as she toured the French National Library with the First Lady of France

The friends attended the Bibliothèque Nationale de France where they hailed the power of literature and launched a new Franco-British literary prize, The Entente Littéraire Prize.

The new prize will recognise Young Adult (YA) Fiction and allow British and French citizens to share joint literary experiences, ‘reinforcing cultural ties whilst celebrating the joys of reading’. 

In the salon d’honneur, Camilla and Madame Macron viewed several treasures belonging to the library’s collection that hold a connection to the UK and France perused old manuscripts including the first edition of Les Miserables, Shakespeare texts Canterbury Psalter and Asterix The Gaul.

Looking up at the ornate carved walls and chandelier, Camilla remarked: ‘It really is a beautiful library.’ 

The pair then joined guests in the Salle Ovale for the reception. Guests included the writers Sebastian Faulks, the author of Birdsong, Julian Jackson, the biographer of Charles de Gaulle, Edward St Aubyn, author of the Patrick Melrose novels, Joseph Coelho, the children’s laureate as well as students interested in literature. 

The Queen then gave a speech formally launching the prize. Opening and closing her remarks in French, Camilla said: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, I hope that you will forgive my slightly rusty French, but it is now 60 years since I was a student at the Institut Britanniquein Paris. It is a huge pleasure to be here with Mme Brigitte Macron today, in this wonderful library, to launch the Prix de L’Entente Littéraire.

‘I very much hope that this Prize will go a long way to proving that Victor Hugo was unfair to us when he said, ‘L’Angleterre a deux livres’, ‘England has two books’ – as dearly as we value the Bible and Shakespeare, I promise that we have many more than two, as the esteemed authors gathered here demonstrate… And, just as in France, our writers every year create new masterpieces which this Prize aims to celebrate.

Camilla spoke with esteemed actress Celia Imrie (pictured left) during the UK-France Literary Prize reception 

Camilla paid homage to France by opting to wear one of the nation’s most prized designers for the occasion – Christian Dior 

Camilla smiled for the camera alongside Ken Follet (pictured left) and Sebastian Faulks (pictured right) 

Brigitte was not the only one to have a giggle with Camilla today, as British actress and author Celia Imrie (right) also had a laugh with the royal 

‘Brigitte Macron and I share a deep love of literature and a passion to promote literacy: through our respective work, we have seen first-hand the life-changing power of books to bring us joy, comfort, companionship, laughter and tears, opening our eyes to others’ experiences and reminding us that we are not alone. 

‘To quote Victor Hugo once again,’Apprendre à lire, c’est allumer du feu ; toute syllabeépelée étincelle, ‘To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.

‘Ladies and gentlemen, you have the ability tolight fires with your words and I greatly look forward to reading the winners’ books next year. Thank you for your support for the Prix de L’Entente Littéraireand may I wish all the entrants bonne chance! Merci beaucoup, thank you very much.’

Chatting to guests during the reception, Camilla met an editor from Point de Vue magazine, telling her: ‘Ah, it’s a very good magazine, je l’aime beacoup.’ She also spoke to the actress Celia Imrie, before chatting with Faulks, who observed the State Visit was ‘all going rather well’ and congratulated her on her speech in French. Camilla joked: ‘I could have done with some of your French coaching, Sebastian.’

Before leaving, Camilla visited the library’s garden, the Vivienne Garden, which is home to a wide variety of paper-producing plants like papyrus, bamboo and birch.

The Queen is a staunch supporter of many literacy organisations and charities, including Booktrust, the National Literacy Trust, Book Aid International and Coram Beanstalk. In 2021, as the then Duchess of Cornwall, she launched the Reading Room on, Instagram offering her book recommendations, as well as insights from the authors in a community space for book lovers of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.

The Bibliothèque nationale de France (BNF) The Bibliothèque nationale de France (BNF) is the national library of France. It was originally the Palace of Cardinal Mazarin, Chief Minister to Louis XIII and Louis XIV, and was built in the 17th century. In 1721, it hosted the King’s library. In September 2022, the site reopened in its entirety, after twelve years of renovation and modernisation work. It includes a research library, a new museum, the Salle Ovale reading room and the newly planted Vivienne Garden.

The cosy display between the two women comes after they shared a sweet moment last night at the Palace of Versailles when Brigitte helped Queen Camilla adjust her cape on the stunning Dior dress.

The Queen paid homage to the country hosting her state visit by opting for the French fashion house to create her caped banquet gown.  

Brigitte also opted for the same designer to produce her elegant floor-length frock with sheer sleeves and gem-encrusted cuffs and collar as she attended the event alongside President Emmanuel Macron. 

The elegant ladies were a power duo on the red carpet as they joined Mr Macron and King Charles on the red carpet for the state banquet.

In a sweet moment, the French first lady was pictured adjusting Queen Camilla’s bold navy cape on the way into the Palace.

The state-like foursome were joined by a cohort of exclusive guests at the banquet, including Hollywood actor Hugh Grant. 

The guests enjoyed dining on lobster, crab and 30-month aged comté cheese together.

As she arrived in France earlier in the day, Queen Camilla did also pay tribute to British designers, opting for a gorgeous pink coat dress by Fiona Clare.

Brigitte was chic as always in a Saint Laurent navy suit with cute detailing in anchor buttons.

But at the Palace of Versailles, the pair coordinated, although their dresses were different enough not to amount to a full twinning effect. 

Much like Brigitte’s sheer sleeve on her long Louis Vuitton dress with bejewelled collar, Camilla’s cape allowed a flattering flash of flesh without revealing too much. And the cape’s trailing tails provided the drama befitting a new monarch. 

The lack of embellishment made for an ideal canvas for the Royal Collection’s most dazzling jewels – the sapphire necklace, bracelet and earrings given to the late Queen by her father George VI as her wedding present. 

Queen Camilla looked focused while engaging in conversation with Ken Follet (left) and Sebastian Faulks (right) 

Camilla mingled with attendees at the launch of a new UK-French literary prize on the second day of her state visit with King Charles III 

Camilla looked pleased to see Brigitte as she arrived at France’s National Library earlier this morning 

Brigitte and Camilla put on a sweet display this morning as they greeted each other with a kiss on the cheek 

Among the celebrity guests, Mick Jagger’s partner Melanie Hamrick chose London designer Jenny Packham; actress Charlotte Gainsbourg, Saint Laurent. The latter’s choice was natural – she is the face of its new campaign, after all. 

Photographs from inside the palace yesterday showed the final preparations as they got underway for the state banquet.

French President Emmanuel Macron’s office said the dinner echoes the state visit of Queen Elizabeth II in 1972, when she was greeted at the Palace by President Georges Pompidou.

Their visit to the library today came as King Charles made history today by becoming the first British leader to address the French Senate – and used his speech to declare climate change as ‘our most existential challenge’.

The monarch spoke of the close friendship between the UK and France and the importance of tackling climate change – just hours after Rishi Sunak put the brakes on Net Zero.

Camilla, who donned a fitted and flared blazer for the occasion, delivered a speech to attendees 

Brigitte sported a glamorous pair of spectacles while addressing attendees at the reception today  

Speaking in perfect French, Charles said: ‘Our most existential challenge of all is that of global warming, climate change and the destruction of nature’.  

Charles was ‘moved’ to be speaking to the Senate and ‘touched’ by the welcome he had received on his 35th official visit to the country – but his first as King.

‘Quite simply the United Kingdom will always be one of France’s closest friends and allies’, he said.

He also spoke about his mother’s love of France – and President Macron’s tribute to her as the ‘golden thread’ binding France and Britain.

‘My mother died almost one year ago today. My family were moved beyond words for the tributes given across France. I can hardly describe how much these words meant to me. I can only thank you for the kindness you showed at a time of great grief’.

Brigitte Macron looked animated while giving a speech at France’s National Library this morning 

Queen Camilla also took to the podium to discuss the new French-British literary prize, which will be awarded for the first time next year 

He added: ‘My mother’s gold thread will always shine brightly’.

The first day of Charles and Camilla’s trip started with a ceremony at Paris’ Arc de Triomphe and a state dinner at the Palace of Versailles on Wednesday.

Charles praised France’s welcome and added: ‘It is incumbent upon us all to reinvigorate our friendship to ensure it is fit for the challenges of this, the 21st century.’

The king is to make a speech Thursday at the Senate in front of lawmakers from both the upper and the lower house of parliament.

Charles and Camilla will then head to Saint-Denis, north of Paris, to meet community sports groups and stars as France currently hosts the Rugby World Cup.

Camilla and Brigette appeared cheerful while visiting the ‘Bibliotheque Nationale de France’ earlier today 

Madam Macron held up an Asterix drawing (pictured) with a wide grin across her face while attending the event with Camilla 

The pair glowed while entering the event that highlights the importance of literature and the literary connections between the UK and France

Saint-Denis, a multicultural, working-class suburb, will serve as a major venue in next year’s Olympics. It is also home to the basilica that houses the tombs of French kings.

Charles will later visit the Paris’ flower market named after Queen Elizabeth II and rejoin Macron in front of Notre-Dame Cathedral to see the ongoing renovation work aimed at reopening the monument by the end of next year, after it was devastated by a fire in 2019.

‘I look forward to visiting that magnificent cathedral … to see how centuries-old crafts have been revived and passed onto apprentices who are helping to restore Notre-Dame to its former glory,’ he said in Versailles.

Charles and Macron will also attend a reception for British and French business leaders about financing climate-related and biodiversity projects.

The king will end his trip on Friday with a stop in Bordeaux, the southwestern city that is home to a large British community.

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