French Embassy celebrates Bastille Day
Ambassador Bermann hosts reception at London’s Kensington Palace Gardens in the presence of Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond
14 July 2017
The Ambassador has hosted a reception at the French Residence to celebrate France’s National Day.
Among the guests at London’s Kensington Palace Gardens were Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Minister of State at the Home Office Baroness Williams of Trafford.
Other guests included Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry, Shadow Secretary of State for Defence Vernon Coaker and Labour peer Baroness Blackstone.
Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow, ITV Political Editor Robert Peston and New Statesman Editor Jason Cowley also attended, as did Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials, veterans, representatives of the French and British business communities in the UK, and members of a number of charitable organisations.
French deputy Alexandre Holroyd and senators Joëlle Garriaud-Maylam and Olivier Cadic were also present.
In total, around 1,000 guests attended the invite-only event. All were treated to French wine and gastronomy, including well-known brands Pernod Ricard, Paul, and Ladurée, making the evening a truly memorable occasion for all.
The event mobilized over 12 chefs, who worked for many days to prepare over 8,000 canapés and 600 crêpes, and was sponsored by over 15 French companies, who financed the reception entirely.
In her speech, the Ambassador said: “In [the] context [of Brexit], maintaining good bilateral relations between the UK and France will be more important than ever, even though they can’t replace everything. They begin with our human bonds (…) Let’s never forget what unites us. Our shared interests, values and destiny.”
On the bilateral defence relationship and the fight against terrorism, Ambassador Bermann added that “the Franco-British defence relationship has no equivalent in Europe. We are Europe’s strategic twins.”