Prince Charles and Camilla celebrate the spread of De Gaulle in wartime with Frenchman Macron

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FILE PHOTO: Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Great Britain, Duchess of Cornwall (known as Duke and Duchess of Rothesay in Scotland), walk to take part in a two-minute silence to mark the 75th anniversary of Victory Day at the Balmoral War Memorial, Scotland, Great Britain May 8, 2020. Amy Muir / Pool via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) – Prince Charles and his wife Camilla will welcome French President Emmanuel Macron next Thursday to mark the 80th anniversary of Charles de Gaulle’s radio call to his compatriots to oppose the Nazi occupation.

The celebrations will kick-start ties between Britain and France at a time when discussions with the European Union on a future relationship after a period of transition from the status quo to Brexit have stalled.

In a statement from Clarence House, Charles and Camilla will formally receive Macron at their residence “with an honor guard formed by the Number 7 Company Coldstream Guards accompanied by the band of Coldstream Guards”.

De Gaulle’s radio call, broadcast by the BBC on June 18, 1940, was the founding act of the French Resistance to the Nazi occupation during the Second World War, although few people heard it at the era and no record has survived.

However, the full text is kept on a bronze plaque placed in the ground near the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier under the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

Horrified by the collapse of the French army while German forces were sweeping France and by the government’s defeatist attitude, De Gaulle left for London, determined to continue the fight.

In his radio call, he argued that, even if mainland France was mainly under German occupation, French soldiers could continue the war by using the country’s colonies as a base or by joining forces with the British.

Elizabeth Piper reports; edited by Stephen Addison

Our standards:Principles of the Thomson Reuters Trust.

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