'Brexit ambassadors' William and Kate reassure France over friendship

Rhiannon Mills, Royal Correspondent in Paris

Prince William has delivered a reassuring message about UK and French relations, saying Britain's friendship with France would not change despite Brexit.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived in Paris on Friday on their first official visit to the capital on behalf of the Foreign Office.

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At the launch of a programme called "Les Voisins" (the neighbours), designed to celebrate Anglo-French links, Prince William said: "Like all neighbours, sometimes our two nations encourage each other through mutual support, sometimes we attempt to outdo the other through rivalry - as we will see when Wales play France at the rugby."

But he added: "Our two nations continually inspire one another to become better: more creative, more prosperous, more innovative. This partnership will continue despite Britain's recent decision to leave the European Union."

The two-day visit to Paris comes after a week of difficult headlines for the prince after he was filmed dancing in a nightclub in Verbier in Switzerland during a weekend away with friends.

Later today the couple will visit Les Invalides, the military hospital, to hear about the work they carry out supporting veterans.

They will also meet survivors of the Bataclan and Nice terrorists attacks, to symbolise UK-French solidarity as both countries face the shared threat of terrorism.

William and Kate will also attend the Wales vs France Six Nations rugby match.

Over the coming months the Royal family are being used by the Government and Foreign Office as "Brexit ambassadors" to maintain Britain's links with Europe.

The Cambridges are due to visit Germany and Poland in July and the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are travelling to Romania, Italy and Austria later this month.

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