An oak tree planted in the town hall of Bordeaux: King Charles III closed on a green note, Friday September 22, his state visit to France during which he pleaded for a new Franco-British “Entente” to fight against global warming.
The act is symbolic the day after a speech before the French Senate where King Charles also called for responding “more effectively” to “the global emergency in terms of climate and biodiversity”.
A shovel handed out by the environmentalist mayor
Friday in Bordeaux, Charles III took the shovel handed out by the city’s environmentalist mayor, Pierre Hurmic, to plant a medlar (or cracked-leaved) oak, “chosen for its capacity to adapt to climate change”, according to Buckingham.
“This oak gives us obligations: me, to take care of it, and him to get news about it,” declared the south-west city councilor, welcoming this impromptu alliance of a “forest king” and an a “garden mayor”.
“I told him that we are trying to limit the space for cars in the city, that we are even planting trees instead of parking lots, and he pointed his two thumbs up in approval,” said added the mayor who gave the queen a lamp made by a local designer and the king a bottle of Château Palmer 2018.
Charles III’s climate advocacy contrasts with Downing Street’s much-criticized U-turn on Wednesday on its environmental commitments, but it is not new. At the COP in Glasgow at the end of 2021, the future king had already urged heads of state to redouble their efforts against global warming.
A promoter of a more sustainable lifestyle, he has created an organic farm, converted royal estates to renewable energy and runs his old Aston Martin with surplus English white wine and whey from the cheese-making process.
It was aboard a more classic vehicle that the royal couple arrived at Bordeaux city hall. Charles and Camilla then went to the frigate HMS Iron Duke, moored on the Garonne river, on board which Prince William had undergone military training in 2008.
A tram ride
Then they briefly took the tram to Place de la Bourse where a temporary artisan village and artists’ stage were set up to celebrate British cultural and commercial links. In the city center, the king increased the number of short crowds, after celebrating Franco-British friendship in Versailles on Wednesday and pleading in favor of strengthened ties between the two countries.
The king and queen left the Place de la Bourse in the middle of a guard of honor formed by rugby players from the Fiji team, based in Bordeaux since the start of the World Cup, who even sang a song religious.
Camilla then visited an association helping the most deprived, Le Pain de l’Amitié, while Charles III crossed the river to discover an experimental forest in Floirac.
Scientists from the University of Bordeaux and the National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment explained their work on the impact of environmental changes on forests, starting with drought, in a region marked by gigantic fires in 2022.
A tasting of a grand cru
Before taking off for the United Kingdom late in the afternoon, the royal couple visited Château Smith Haut Lafitte, where they were able to taste a 2005 Grand Cru Classé. Camilla also tried in vain to feed one llamas who help weed the 87 hectares of this estate converted to biodynamics.
Visit of Charles III: what is the cordial understanding, mentioned by the king?
Founded in the 14th century and bearing the name of a former Scottish owner, George Smith, the success of this castle contrasts with the serious crisis of overproduction in which the largest vineyard in France (110,000 hectares cultivated) is plunged.