PICS: Prince William and Kate in Paris

2017-03-18 09:01

Paris - British royals William and Kate are on a state visit to Paris.

This is the prince's first official visit to the French capital since his mother Diana died there.

During the two-day trip, the couple will meet survivors of the 2015 terror attack on the Bataclan concert hall in Paris as well as President Francois Hollande.

The trip comes as William, second-in-line to the throne, is under fire in the British media for missing a Commonwealth celebration to go skiing with friends. (Read more here)

William, 34, and Kate, 35, will be acting as goodwill ambassadors for Britain just as the country prepares to trigger the formal process of leaving the European Union.

French magazines have described their trip, organised at the request of Britain's foreign ministry, as a charm offensive by Britain as it prepares to break away from the European Union.

Gala magazine called them "the glamorous card to make you forget Brexit" - a tactic that will also be tested when they travel to Germany and Poland in July. The royals will launch a initiative called "Les Voisins" (The Neighbours), celebrating relations between France and Britain.

On Friday the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge hosted a black-tie dinner at the British embassy attended by stars including Godzilla and Leon actor Jean Reno and British actress Kristin Scott Thomas, who has a home in Paris.

In a nod to Kate's keen interest in fashion, newly appointed Givenchy designer Clare Waight Keller was on the guest list.

On Saturday, the couple will attend a Six Nations rugby match between France and Wales at the Stade de France.

Although no official commemoration is planned during the trip, it will be impossible to escape the poignancy of Diana's eldest son visiting the city where she died on 31 August 1997.

See pictures here:

(Photos: Getty Images)

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