In a landmark event commemorating the 120th anniversary of the Entente Cordiale, French and British troops participated in an exchange of the traditional Changing of the Guard ceremony outside the palaces of each nation’s head of state.

This historic occurrence took place today (8th April), symbolising the enduring friendship and cooperation between France and the United Kingdom since the signing of the Entente Cordiale in 1904.

The Entente Cordiale, a series of agreements established in 1904, marked a significant turning point in Anglo-French relations. While not a formal alliance, these agreements laid the groundwork for a profound collaborative relationship that has stood the test of time, evolving through various global challenges and milestones.

Today’s event saw 32 members of the French Republican Guard’s 1st and 2nd Infantry regiments and 40 guardsmen from F Company Scots Guards taking part in the ceremonies in London and Paris, respectively.

In London, the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh attended the ceremony at Buckingham Palace, while President Macron observed the proceedings in Paris. This occasion marks the first time that a country outside the Commonwealth has participated in the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, a tradition that dates back to when Household Troops began guarding the Sovereign and the Royal Palaces in 1660.

The significance of this event is further underscored by the recent State Visit of Their Majesties The King and Queen to France, which celebrated the connections between the people of the two nations and reiterated the relevance of the Entente Cordiale in the 21st century.

The exchange of guard duties is a testament to the historical journey from rivalry to partnership between the UK and France. It highlights the ability of nations to transcend past conflicts and forge alliances based on mutual respect and shared goals.

This event is simultaneously a celebration of the past and a reaffirmation of the commitment to a collaborative future.

For enthusiasts of history and genealogy, this event provides a unique lens through which to view the evolution of international relations and the personal connections that have shaped the course of history between these two nations.

Image Source:

  • Buckingham Palace Guards: Picryl