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Prince William and Kate embark on their poignant trip to Paris

by Ainhoa Barcelona

From London to Paris! Prince William and Kate have arrived in the French capital, just hours after attending a St Patrick's Day parade at Cavalry Barracks in Hounslow. Looking remarkably fresh despite their travels, William and Kate headed to the Élysée Palace for their first engagement of the day – a meeting with French President Francois Hollande. The politician and the royals, who have met on a number of occasions, were in high spirits at the reunion.

Kate looked resplendent in a chic dark green coat from one of her favourite designers, Catherine Walker, giving a nod to St Patrick's Day. She styled her brunette tresses into her trademark bouncy curls while William looked dapper in a navy suit. After the short meeting, Prince George and Princess Charlotte's parents attended a reception hosted by Her Majesty's ambassador.

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Prince William and Kate are in Paris for two days

The reception celebrated the launch of 'Les Voisins,' a celebration of UK-French links, at the British Embassy in Paris. William and Kate met young French leaders from the arts, sport, fashion, business, and voluntary sectors, as well as young military award winners. Later on Friday, the Duke and Duchess will be guests of honour at a black-tie dinner, again hosted by the ambassador.

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The royals had a meeting with Francois Hollande

The couple have a jam-packed schedule. They will watch the Wales vs France Six Nations match on Saturday afternoon. A meeting with the victims and first responders from the Bataclan and Nice attacks is also one of the engagements in their varied itinerary. The focus of William and Kate's visit, which has been arranged at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, is very much on the special relationship between France and a post-Brexit Britain.

But the fleeting trip will no doubt resonate with the Duke, who is marking his mother's death anniversary in August. Diana, Princess of Wales was tragically killed in a car accident in Paris twenty years ago. HELLO!'s royal correspondent Emily Nash said: "Although William has visited Paris several times since the death of his mother, this is his first official trip there on behalf of the Government. While his and Kate's visit is very much about boosting UK-French relations, it will also be a poignant one, coming in Diana's 20th anniversary year."