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Kate and Wills begin their Brexit charm offensive in Paris





  • Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a glittering gala dinner in Paris on Friday night
  • Princess Catherine opted for three different outfits throughout the day
  • The pair arrived in Paris this afternoon to meet President Francois Hollande at the Elysée
  • Prince William enjoyed bi-lateral talks with the French leader at start of their whirlwind 24-hour visit
  • This visit is the first time that William and Kate have visited Paris in an official capacity
  • Today is also the prince's first official visit to the city since his mother died there twenty years ago in 1997 

By Rebecca English, Royal Correspondent For The Daily Mail, In Paris

Published: 12:13 EDT, 17 March 2017 | Updated: 09:00 EDT, 18 March 2017

It was a whirlwind day for William and Kate. They started the day at a St. Patrick's Day parade in London before taking a private jet to Paris to begin a two-day Brexit charm offensive.  

The Duchess of Cambridge dazzled in three outfits in just a matter of hours in the French capital. She kicked off her sartorial showcase at the Elysée Palace with a green Catherine Walker coat dress for a meeting with the French president.

A little while later she changed into a black Alexander McQueen gown complete with oversized pearls and Gianvito Rossi heels when she and William attended the British Embassy to launch Les Voisins - The Neighbours - a year-long celebration of UK-French links. 

The pair, on their first official visit to the city since the death of William's mother Princess Diana twenty years ago, finished the evening at the Ambassador's residence next door where she dazzled in an ice-blue Jenny Packham dress.

After Prince William made headlines with his 'dad dancing' during a booze-fuelled lads' skiing holiday last weekend, Kate ensured all eyes were on her as she stole the show in her range of sophisticated outfits.

But if he thought he could entirely put the embarrassment of his wild weekend behind him, William was sadly mistaken when a group of child performers sang Pharrell Williams' song Happy - the tune the royal danced to in a club in Verbier.

However, the prince made it clear he and Kate intend to fly the flag for Britain and unity post Brexit during their visit as he told those who had gathered at the gala: 'The connections between our nations run deep – ties of history, ties of values, ties of friendship and family. And ties born, above all, of the fact that our countries are neighbours. 

'This deep friendship between the United Kingdom and France, forged in sweat and blood, is one that will endure. This partnership will continue despite Britain’s recent decision to leave the European Union.' 

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It was a whirlwind day for William and Kate. The pair, on their first official visit to the city since the death of William's mother Princess Diana twenty years ago, finished the evening at the British Ambassador's residence It was a whirlwind day for William and Kate. The pair, on their first official visit to the city since the death of William's mother Princess Diana twenty years ago, finished the evening at the British Ambassador's residence

It was a whirlwind day for William and Kate. The pair, on their first official visit to the city since the death of William's mother Princess Diana twenty years ago, finished the evening at the British Ambassador's residence

Dress to impress in ice blue Jenny Packham fit for a queen

With a steely gaze and accessories to match, Kate and Wills put on a brave united front to dispel any recent negative rumors about the couple. Looking truly regal in a custom Jenny Packham dress, Kate dazzled the mostly French crowd.

Her ice blue satin gown had a sheer overlay with exquisite crystal beading and floral embroidery throughout and modest short sleeves. The dress also had oversize sequin trimming at the neck, sleeves and waist removing any need for a necklace or belt. Accessories were kept in the same color family- all in silver and steel tones.

It was the final outfit change for what must have been an incredibly long and tiring day for the young royals. But as ever they marched on.

Emulate Kate in shades of ice blue for your next big affair either in this cocktail length Jenny Packham dress, ethereal Temperley, or one of our more wallet friendly alternatives from Adrianna Papell.

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The Duchess of Cambridge wowed in an ice-blue Jenny Packham gown in Paris today at a dinner hosted by Her Majesty's Ambassador to France - her third outfit change in just a matter of hours  The Duchess of Cambridge wowed in an ice-blue Jenny Packham gown in Paris today at a dinner hosted by Her Majesty's Ambassador to France - her third outfit change in just a matter of hours 

The Duchess of Cambridge wowed in an ice-blue Jenny Packham gown in Paris today at a dinner hosted by Her Majesty's Ambassador to France - her third outfit change in just a matter of hours 

British Ambassador Edward Llewellyn (left) and his wife walked with  the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge before a diner at the British Embassy in Paris British Ambassador Edward Llewellyn (left) and his wife walked with  the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge before a diner at the British Embassy in Paris

British Ambassador Edward Llewellyn (left) and his wife walked with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge before a diner at the British Embassy in Paris

William and Kate arrived in Paris today in the prince's first official visit to the French capital since his mother died there William and Kate arrived in Paris today in the prince's first official visit to the French capital since his mother died there

William and Kate arrived in Paris today in the prince's first official visit to the French capital since his mother died there

The Duchess of Cambridge listened to French actor Jean Reno at the dinner in the elegant 18th century residence's ballroom The Duchess of Cambridge listened to French actor Jean Reno at the dinner in the elegant 18th century residence's ballroom

The Duchess of Cambridge listened to French actor Jean Reno at the dinner in the elegant 18th century residence's ballroom

Prince William and Kate were both spotted smiling as they mingled with guests at the British Embassy last night Prince William and Kate were both spotted smiling as they mingled with guests at the British Embassy last night

Prince William and Kate were both spotted smiling as they mingled with guests at the British Embassy last night

William and Kate  listened to the band 'Kids United' during a diner at the Embassy in Paris yesterday evening William and Kate  listened to the band 'Kids United' during a diner at the Embassy in Paris yesterday evening

William and Kate listened to the band 'Kids United' during a diner at the Embassy in Paris yesterday evening

The pair finished the evening at the Ambassador's residence  where Kate dazzled in an ice-blue Jenny Packham dress The pair finished the evening at the Ambassador's residence  where Kate dazzled in an ice-blue Jenny Packham dress

The pair finished the evening at the Ambassador's residence where Kate dazzled in an ice-blue Jenny Packham dress

Prince William, dressed in a black and white tuxedo for the event, gave an address from a podium during the official dinner  Prince William, dressed in a black and white tuxedo for the event, gave an address from a podium during the official dinner 

Prince William, dressed in a black and white tuxedo for the event, gave an address from a podium during the official dinner 

At the gala dinner tonight, William said: 'The connections between our nations run deep – ties of history, ties of values, ties of friendship and family' At the gala dinner tonight, William said: 'The connections between our nations run deep – ties of history, ties of values, ties of friendship and family'

At the gala dinner tonight, William said: 'The connections between our nations run deep – ties of history, ties of values, ties of friendship and family'

He added: 'This deep friendship between the United Kingdom and France, forged in sweat and blood, is one that will endure' He added: 'This deep friendship between the United Kingdom and France, forged in sweat and blood, is one that will endure'

He added: 'This deep friendship between the United Kingdom and France, forged in sweat and blood, is one that will endure'

In his speech, William added: 'Most fundamentally, our nations share a set of common values: democracy, free speech, the rule of law, among many others' In his speech, William added: 'Most fundamentally, our nations share a set of common values: democracy, free speech, the rule of law, among many others'
Princess Kate Princess Kate

In his speech, William added: 'Most fundamentally, our nations share a set of common values: democracy, free speech, the rule of law, among many others'

The Duke and Duchess attended a reception at the British Embassy in Paris to launch Les Voisins - The Neighbours - a year-long celebration of UK-French links The Duke and Duchess attended a reception at the British Embassy in Paris to launch Les Voisins - The Neighbours - a year-long celebration of UK-French links
Kate was wore a black Alexander McQueen dress to the reception Kate was wore a black Alexander McQueen dress to the reception

Kate stunned in a custom Alexander McQueen gown as the Duke and Duchess attended a reception at the British Embassy in Paris on Friday evening to launch Les Voisins - The Neighbours - a year-long celebration of UK-French links

Dazzling Kate's is the belle of the ball in Paris as she and William attend lavish gala during two-day Brexit charm offensive Dazzling Kate's is the belle of the ball in Paris as she and William attend lavish gala during two-day Brexit charm offensive
Kate wore a black Alexander McQueen dress at the glittering gala dinner at the stunning official residence of the British Ambassador Kate wore a black Alexander McQueen dress at the glittering gala dinner at the stunning official residence of the British Ambassador

Dazzling Kate was the belle of the ball in Paris as she and William attended a lavish gala during the two-day Brexit charm offensive. Kate wore a black Alexander McQueen dress at the glittering gala dinner at the official residence of the British Ambassador

The Duchess of Cambridge attended a reception to mark the launch of 'Les Voisins' - which celebrates the cultural ties between the UK and France The Duchess of Cambridge attended a reception to mark the launch of 'Les Voisins' - which celebrates the cultural ties between the UK and France

The Duchess of Cambridge attended a reception to mark the launch of 'Les Voisins' - which celebrates the cultural ties between the UK and France

French President Francois Hollande shook hands with Prince William French President Francois Hollande shook hands with Prince William
Catherine spoke to guests at the British Embassy Catherine spoke to guests at the British Embassy

French President Francois Hollande shook hands with Prince William (left) after their meeting at the Elysée Palace and Kate spoke to guests at the British Embassy (right)

Prince William (pictured with the Duchess of Cambridge and Anne Llewellyn, the wife of the UK's ambassador) spoke at a reception at the British Embassy Prince William (pictured with the Duchess of Cambridge and Anne Llewellyn, the wife of the UK's ambassador) spoke at a reception at the British Embassy

Prince William (pictured with the Duchess of Cambridge and Anne Llewellyn, the wife of the UK's ambassador) spoke at a reception at the British Embassy

The royal couple looked radiant as they entered the reception held at the British Embassy The royal couple looked radiant as they entered the reception held at the British Embassy
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge

The royal couple looked radiant as they entered the reception held at the British Embassy (pictured left)

The Duchess of Cambridge smiled and clapped her hands at the event which took place during a two-day tour of the city  The Duchess of Cambridge smiled and clapped her hands at the event which took place during a two-day tour of the city 

The Duchess of Cambridge smiled and clapped her hands at the event which took place during a two-day tour of the city 

A quick change for the Duchess! 

Later, at a dinner, William read out a message from the Queen to France saying: 'I retain an enduring affection for this beautiful country and its people. The ties between our nations have stood the test of time and will, I am sure, continue to prosper.'

The couple's charm offensive, which comes just days after the Brexit bill received Royal Assent allowing Theresa May to trigger Article 50, is the first time that William or Kate have visited Paris officially - although both have spent time in the city privately.

The pair kicked off a busy day of engagements with a St. Patrick's celebration in London, and tonight they mixed with stars including actress Audrey Tatou, Dame Kristin Scott Thomas, who lives in the city, and footballer Robert Pires.

WILLIAM'S SPEECH... 

'The connections between our nations run deep – ties of history, ties of values, ties of friendship and family. And ties born, above all, of the fact that our countries are neighbours.

'So much of our countries' histories, culture and language are intertwined. Those ties of neighbours which run through our history are as powerful today as they have ever been.

'Most fundamentally, our nations share a set of common values: democracy, free speech, the rule of law, among many others.

'This deep friendship between the United Kingdom and France, forged in sweat and blood, is one that will endure.

'This partnership will continue despite Britain’s recent decision to leave the European Union. The depth of our friendship and the breadth of our cooperation will not change.’

Kate, 35, oozed Hollywood glamour with her hair worn in loose waves and teamed her designer gown with Gianvito Rossi heels, a chic leather belt and oversized pearl earrings.

On the menu last night was sole crown and Dublin Bay prawns, crayfish, braised leg of Welsh lamb with a seasonal vegetable garnish and roast potatoes with thyme, and an iced white and dark chocolate soufflé, butterscotch sauce with a pistachio and almond diamond shortbread.

Earlier in the day, the pair headed to the Elysée where they enjoyed bi-lateral talks with the French leader Francois Holland to kick off their whirlwind 24-hour visit after arriving on a private jet.

On Friday morning, the pair had been at a St Patrick's Day parade in Hounslow, West London, and clearly Kate did not have time to change after her engagement this morning - arriving in Paris in the same coat she had sported hours earlier.

She wore the same green Catherine Walker outfit to meet President Hollande, but the only difference was that Kate had quickly taken her hair down en route to the city, suggesting that her personal hairdresser has accompanied her on the trip. 

'The British Royal Family are some of the most important diplomats we have,' said an FCO source, 'and will play a major part in what is being called our "soft diplomacy" efforts.'

Interestingly, William and Kate did not travel to Paris by Eurostar but flew in by private jet today, following an engagement in London this morning.

British actress Kristin Scott Thomas British actress Kristin Scott Thomas
Former French footballer Robert Pires and his wife Jessica Lemarie-Pires Former French footballer Robert Pires and his wife Jessica Lemarie-Pires

British actress Kristin Scott Thomas (left) and former French footballer Robert Pires (right) arrived for a dinner hosted by Her Majesty's Ambassador to France

French actress Audrey Tautou French actress Audrey Tautou
French skipper Armel Le Cleac'h French skipper Armel Le Cleac'h

French actress Audrey Tautou (left) arrived at the British Embassy along with French skipper Armel Le Cleac'h (right)

UK ambassador to France Edward Llewellyn and wife Anne Llewellyn UK ambassador to France Edward Llewellyn and wife Anne Llewellyn
French actor Jean Reno French actor Jean Reno

UK ambassador to France Edward Llewellyn and wife Anne Llewellyn (left) and French actor Jean Reno (right)

Earlier in the day the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Francios Holland met at the Elysée Palace. The pair flew in fresh from St Patrick's Day celebrations in west London, with Kate not changing out of her Catherine Walker coat Earlier in the day the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Francios Holland met at the Elysée Palace. The pair flew in fresh from St Patrick's Day celebrations in west London, with Kate not changing out of her Catherine Walker coat

Earlier in the day the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Francios Holland met at the Elysée Palace. The pair flew in fresh from St Patrick's Day celebrations in west London, with Kate not changing out of her Catherine Walker coat

Kate wore the same green Catherine Walker outfit to meet President Hollande, but the only difference was that Kate had quickly taken her hair down en route to the city. However she later changed into a dazzling black gown Kate wore the same green Catherine Walker outfit to meet President Hollande, but the only difference was that Kate had quickly taken her hair down en route to the city. However she later changed into a dazzling black gown

Kate wore the same green Catherine Walker outfit to meet President Hollande, but the only difference was that Kate had quickly taken her hair down en route to the city. However she later changed into a dazzling black gown

Significant: Lord Llewellyn, who is David Cameron’s former chief of staff at Downing Street, described the visit as 'exciting and special' and revealed that the embassy planned to launch at least one major initiative on the back of it Significant: Lord Llewellyn, who is David Cameron’s former chief of staff at Downing Street, described the visit as 'exciting and special' and revealed that the embassy planned to launch at least one major initiative on the back of it

Significant: Lord Llewellyn, who is David Cameron’s former chief of staff at Downing Street, described the visit as 'exciting and special' and revealed that the embassy planned to launch at least one major initiative on the back of it

What scandal? Kate brushed her husband's Alpine antics aside as she put on a dazzling display in Paris on Friday. Despite jetting in from London she showed no signs of fatigue with her perfectly coiffed hair looking as immaculate as ever What scandal? Kate brushed her husband's Alpine antics aside as she put on a dazzling display in Paris on Friday. Despite jetting in from London she showed no signs of fatigue with her perfectly coiffed hair looking as immaculate as ever

What scandal? Kate brushed her husband's Alpine antics aside as she put on a dazzling display in Paris on Friday. Despite jetting in from London she showed no signs of fatigue with her perfectly coiffed hair looking as immaculate as ever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet French President Francois Hollande at Elysée Palace as they arrived yesterday. They also visited Les Invalides, the French military hospital where they will meet two survivors of the Paris terror attacks The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet French President Francois Hollande at Elysée Palace as they arrived yesterday. They also visited Les Invalides, the French military hospital where they will meet two survivors of the Paris terror attacks

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet French President Francois Hollande at Elysée Palace as they arrived yesterday. They also visited Les Invalides, the French military hospital where they will meet two survivors of the Paris terror attacks

William and the French president held talks in what was the first meeting during the royals' two-day trip to France. Lord Llewellyn described the visit as 'exciting and special' and revealed that the embassy planned to launch at least one major initiative on the back of it William and the French president held talks in what was the first meeting during the royals' two-day trip to France. Lord Llewellyn described the visit as 'exciting and special' and revealed that the embassy planned to launch at least one major initiative on the back of it

William and the French president held talks in what was the first meeting during the royals' two-day trip to France. Lord Llewellyn described the visit as 'exciting and special' and revealed that the embassy planned to launch at least one major initiative on the back of it

William and Kate did not travel to Paris by Eurostar but flew in by private jet today, after being in London this morning William and Kate did not travel to Paris by Eurostar but flew in by private jet today, after being in London this morning

William and Kate did not travel to Paris by Eurostar but flew in by private jet today, after being in London this morning

WILLIAM'S PARTYING ON THE SWISS SLOPES ON BOYS' SKI HOLIDAY... 

Prince William skipped a major Commonwealth ceremony with the Queen to party with friends in the Swiss Alps where he was seen enjoying a boozy lunch with a glamorous Australian model.

Hours before other royals attended a service at Westminster Abbey to mark Commonwealth Day, an occasion with deep personal resonance for the monarch, the 34-year-old was drinking and dancing in a club in the upmarket resort of Verbier.

Earlier in the day, William, who will one day follow his grandmother as head of the 52-strong ‘family of nations’, had been drinking beer on the slopes with friends, including high-spirited nightclub boss Guy Pelly and 24-year-old model Sophie Taylor.

During the jaunt, he was seen giving Ms Taylor a high five as they enjoyed a leisurely lunch on mountainside restaurant La Vache. 

It is believed that William left his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, and their young children at home for the weekend jaunt, returning to England late yesterday afternoon.

The prince's decision to miss such a key event in the royal calendar will revive criticism that the father of two is ‘workshy’ and failing to knuckle down to his royal role.

Ms Taylor works at the Farinet nightclub, the popular après-ski hangout where William and his friends were spotted until the early hours.

The stunning blonde has previously worked for Australian model agency Chadwick models and also posed topless for photographer Glen Krohn in Bali when she visited the island last year. 

British Ambassador, Edward Llewellyn - Lord Llewellyn of Steep, David Cameron's former chief of staff at Downing Street described the visit as 'exciting and special' and revealed that the embassy planned to launch at least one major initiative on the back of it.

He said: 'This is a very exciting and special day. This is the first official visit by the royal couple, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Paris. This is a country they know well but their first visit is an important and significant moment.

'I have been ambassador for four and half months and been very struck in that time by the deep affection in this country that there is for the Royal Family. I think that is very much evidence today when we see some of the French press coverage.'

The couple met young French leaders from the arts, sports, fashion , business and the voluntary sector on their visit The couple met young French leaders from the arts, sports, fashion , business and the voluntary sector on their visit

The couple met young French leaders from the arts, sports, fashion , business and the voluntary sector on their visit

Prince William spoke to Francois Hollande at the Elysée Palace during day one of their visit to France, in Paris yesterday Prince William spoke to Francois Hollande at the Elysée Palace during day one of their visit to France, in Paris yesterday

Prince William spoke to Francois Hollande at the Elysée Palace during day one of their visit to France, in Paris yesterday

The Duchess spoke to President Holland on the steps of the Elysée Palace on Friday afternoon before the evening's gala The Duchess spoke to President Holland on the steps of the Elysée Palace on Friday afternoon before the evening's gala

The Duchess spoke to President Holland on the steps of the Elysée Palace on Friday afternoon before the evening's gala

Despite news of William's booze-fuelled lads' holiday last weekend, the pair put on a united front for their visit on Friday  Despite news of William's booze-fuelled lads' holiday last weekend, the pair put on a united front for their visit on Friday 

Despite news of William's booze-fuelled lads' holiday last weekend, the pair put on a united front for their visit on Friday 

Earlier, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the annual Irish Guards' St Patrick's Day Parade in West London Earlier, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the annual Irish Guards' St Patrick's Day Parade in West London

Earlier, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the annual Irish Guards' St Patrick's Day Parade in West London

Prince William and Kate celebrated St Patrick's Day with a pint of Guinness today on their first official engagement since his epic 'dad-dancing' during a wild lads' weekend Prince William and Kate celebrated St Patrick's Day with a pint of Guinness today on their first official engagement since his epic 'dad-dancing' during a wild lads' weekend

Prince William and Kate celebrated St Patrick's Day with a pint of Guinness today on their first official engagement since his epic 'dad-dancing' during a wild lads' weekend

Kate, wearing all-green, had a cascade of shamrocks - the national emblem of Ireland - pinned to her coat this morning Kate, wearing all-green, had a cascade of shamrocks - the national emblem of Ireland - pinned to her coat this morning

Kate, wearing all-green, had a cascade of shamrocks - the national emblem of Ireland - pinned to her coat this morning

The Duchess of Cambridge celebrated St Patrick's Day with a pint of Guinness this morning in Hounslow, West London The Duchess of Cambridge celebrated St Patrick's Day with a pint of Guinness this morning in Hounslow, West London
Kate wore a sprig of shamrock on her jacket Kate wore a sprig of shamrock on her jacket

The Duchess of Cambridge celebrated St Patrick's Day with a pint of Guinness this morning in Hounslow, West London

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge talk with soldiers of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards following their St Patrick's Day Parade The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge talk with soldiers of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards following their St Patrick's Day Parade

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge talk with soldiers of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards following their St Patrick's Day Parade

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