After King Charles’ historic speech in French to the French Senate, many have wondered if Queen Camilla had the same language skills.
King Charles and Queen Camilla arrived in France on Wednesday, September 20, for a short but important visit that included several official engagements, a gala dinner, and even a curious game of ping-pong.
What caught the attention of many, however, was the complicity and good relationship between Camilla and the French First Lady, Brigitte Macron, raising the question of whether the British queen is fluent in French.
Does Queen Camilla speak French?
Knowledge of foreign languages is a valuable skill for royalty, allowing them to interact more fluently and respectfully with dignitaries and representatives of other countries.
French is widely recognized as one of the most important international languages and is spoken by many people around the world.
As Queen Camilla has participated in numerous royal visits and engagements, she may have had the opportunity to practice and learn French during her public life.
In her speech at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Camilla did her best to deliver a speech in French, praising the power of literature and launching a new Franco-British literary prize, the Entente Littéraire Prize, as the Daily Mail reported.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I hope that you will forgive my slightly rusty French, but it is now 60 years since I was a student at the Institut Britanniquein Paris. It is a huge pleasure to be here with Mme Brigitte Macron today, in this wonderful library, to launch the Prix de L’Entente Littéraire.
I very much hope that this Prize will go a long way to proving that Victor Hugo was unfair to us when he said, ‘L’Angleterre a deux livres’, ‘England has two books’ – as dearly as we value the Bible and Shakespeare, I promise that we have many more than two, as the esteemed authors gathered here demonstrate… And, just as in France, our writers every year create new masterpieces which this Prize aims to celebrate.
Brigitte Macron and I share a deep love of literature and a passion to promote literacy: through our respective work, we have seen first-hand the life-changing power of books to bring us joy, comfort, companionship, laughter and tears, opening our eyes to others’ experiences and reminding us that we are not alone.
‘To quote Victor Hugo once again,’Apprendre à lire, c’est allumer du feu ; toute syllabeépelée étincelle, ‘To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.
Ladies and gentlemen, you have the ability tolight fires with your words and I greatly look forward to reading the winners’ books next year. Thank you for your support for the Prix de L’Entente Littéraireand may I wish all the entrants bonne chance! Merci beaucoup, thank you very much,” Camilla said.
Chatting with guests during the reception, Camilla chatted with author Sebastian Faulks, who noted that the state visit was “going quite well” and complimented her on her speech in French. Camilla joked, “I could have done that with some of your French coaches, Sebastian”.
It is also known that the only language she has practiced is Welsh.
Welsh-born opera singer Katherine Jenkins revealed that Camilla had asked her for help in learning some words, including the words to the old Welsh national anthem.
At the very least, Camilla was trying to keep up with Prince Charles, who has a perfect command of the Welsh language.