The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will make their return to London next week as they formally receive the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, at Clarence House. Charles and Camilla will host the French President to mark the 80th anniversary of General de Gaulle’s ‘Appel’ to the French people in 1940.
Charles and Camilla will receive Macron at Clarence House, London with a Guard of Honour by Number 7 Company Coldstream Guards accompanied by the Band of the Coldstream Guards.
Prince Charles and Camilla have been at Birkhall in Scotland since mid-March, when they relocated to isolate as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold across the United Kingdom. It was at Birkhall that Charles had to self-isolate away from Camilla when he contracted Coronavirus, thankfully the heir-to-the-throne made a full recovery and recently described himself as “lucky” compared to others who have sadly died from the virus.
It will be the first face-to-face engagement that Charles and Camilla have conducted since the start of the pandemic.
The L’Appel of 18th June 1940 was a speech by Charles de Gaulle, leader of the Free French Forces. He spoke to the French people from London after France fell to Nazi occupation. A translation of the speech can be seen below:
“The leaders who, for many years, have been at the head of the French armies have formed a government. This government, alleging the defeat of our armies, has made contact with the enemy in order to stop the fighting. It is true, we were, we are, overwhelmed by the mechanical, ground and air forces of the enemy. Infinitely more than their number, it is the tanks, the aeroplanes, the tactics of the Germans which are causing us to retreat. It was the tanks, the aeroplanes, the tactics of the Germans that surprised our leaders to the point of bringing them to where they are today.
But has the last word been said? Must hope disappear? Is defeat final? No!
Believe me, I who am speaking to you with full knowledge of the facts, and who tell you that nothing is lost for France. The same means that overcame us can bring us victory one day. For France is not alone! She is not alone! She is not alone! She has a vast Empire behind her. She can align with the British Empire that holds the sea and continues the fight. She can, like England, use without limit the immense industry of the United States.
This war is not limited to the unfortunate territory of our country. This war is not over as a result of the Battle of France. This war is a world war. All the mistakes, all the delays, all the suffering, do not alter the fact that there are, in the world, all the means necessary to crush our enemies one day. Vanquished today by mechanical force, in the future we will be able to overcome by a superior mechanical force. The fate of the world depends on it.
I, General de Gaulle, currently in London, invite the officers and the French soldiers who are located in British territory or who might end up here, with their weapons or without their weapons, I invite the engineers and the specialised workers of the armament industries who are located in British territory or who might end up here, to put themselves in contact with me.
Whatever happens, the flame of the French resistance must not be extinguished and will not be extinguished. Tomorrow, as today, I will speak on the radio from London.”
This speech is often seen as the origin of the French Resistance to Nazi occupation and is considered one of the most important speeches in French history.
Royal Circular will provide coverage of the meeting between Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall and President Macron.