The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have bid 'au revoir' to Paris after a flying two-day visit to the French capital.
The royal charm offensive was requested by the Foreign Office in a bid to bolster relations with EU nations in post-Brexit Britain. And the royals had the French people won over during their first official tour of the city as goodwill ambassadors.
The Duke and Duchess's two-day diplomatic visit had involved a hectic schedule and multiple wardrobe changes for Kate, as they touched down in the fashion capital of the world.
Arriving by private jet, they headed straight to the the Elysée for bilateral talks with the French President Francois Hollande before attending a reception at the British embassy followed by a lavish gala dinner at the official residence of the British Ambassador, Edward Llewellyn - Lord Llewellyn of Steep.
Turning up the glamour, the Duke and Duchess rubbed shoulders with French actors Jean Reno and Audrey Tatou, footballer Robert Pires and Dame Kristin Scott Thomas, who lives in the city.
Earlier today (18 March) the royals met with war veterans and victims and first responders of the Nice and Bataclan terror attacks at the famous Les Invalides military hospital in the heart of the city.
Among the victims of the terror attack were Kevin, a 28-year-old fireman, a concert-goer at the Bataclan, who was shot in the leg and Jessica Bambal Akan, 25, who was shot seven times in the leg, hip and back as she dined with friends at La Belle Equipe restaurant in Paris. Her friend Victor Munoz, who was inside the Bataclan was killed with one shot.
Jessica said meeting the Duke and Duchess had been a source of encouragement to her as she continues to undergo rehabilitation at the hospital.
Jessica, 25, said: "At first [after the shooting] I was a bit shy and didn't want to talk about it because of all of the pain and grief. But now I want to say we are not only victims, we have lives, we have boyfriends, girlfriends, work. I want to speak about my friend who died to honour him, I want people to remember who he was."
The Duchess asked how she had found readjusting to life after the accident and added she would be keeping an eye out for Jessica's work, after learning she is retraining to work in fashion.
William told the Bataclan attack survivors: "We think you are very strong and very brave, you've made amazing progress."
The royal couple's whistle-stop tour of Paris also included a visit to the Impressionists' gallery at the Musée d'Orsay to take in some of the works of the great French masters such as Monet.
And like any tourist to the city of lights, the royals couldn't leave without a photo in front of Paris' most iconic landmark, the Eiffel Tower.
Visiting a 'Les Voisins in Action' event, highlighting the strong ties between the young people of France and the UK, their Royal Highnesses met local school children and students from the British Council's Somme project and young learners programmes, as well as young French rugby fans ahead of the RBS Six Nations match that afternoon. The Prince showed off his rugby skills while the Duchess chatted animatedly with the children.
They then went onto the Stade de France for Wales' final Six Nations game against France. In a nail-biting finish that had the sport loving royals on the edge of their seats, victory was snatched from Wales after twenty minutes of overtime at the Stade de France as France scored in the 100th minute winning 20-18.
While the visit to Paris was no doubt personally poignant for Prince William, ahead of his mother's 20th death anniversary, the couple did not visit the scene of his mother's death in 1997 in the Pont de l'Alma (the Flame of Liberty tunnel).
Returning to the UK, the tour, which was designed to bolster Anglo-Franco relations ahead of Britain's exit from the UK, was deemed a resounding success. Prince William stated that the UK's positive relationship with the country 'would not change' after Brexit.
A Kensington Palace spokesman tweeted: "What an incredible two days in Paris! Thank you to everyone who made the visit so memorable. Au revoir for now!"
After the Paris tour, the couple will visit Germany and Poland in July
You may be interested in:
- William and Kate met French terror attack survivors at time of Orly Airport incident
- Kate Middleton and Prince William to bolster UK-France relations ahead of Brexit
- Kate Middleton belle of the ball at British embassy gala dinner in Paris
- Kate Middleton and Prince William bid 'au revoir' to Paris after two-day charm offensive