The “soft power” of the Royal family has always been exploited as a diplomatic tool, and the Foreign Office wants to capitalise on its popularity in the wake of the Queen’s funeral, which was watched by billions worldwide.
Mr Macron delivered one of the most memorable tributes to the late Queen from any world leader when he said that the French people felt “an emptiness” because of her death, adding that: “To you, she was your Queen. To us, she was The Queen.”
Mr Macron confirmed that he had issued an invitation to the King to make a State visit to France, saying: “I had the opportunity to invite King Charles to come to France when it is appropriate for him.
“I think the British people and the King felt France’s deep affection for them and the emotion we shared.”
Sources suggested that Germany, as the largest country in Europe, would also be near the top of the list for a state visit, suggesting the King could head to Berlin after visiting France.
Germany was one of the last countries visited by the late Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, when the couple were hosted in June 2015 by Joachim Gauck, the German president at the time. David Cameron was prime minister then and joined her on the trip.