The British Royal family has scheduled a trip to France that will likely coincide with the beginning of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.
Prince William and Kate will be in Paris on March 17 and 18, Kensington Palace announced on Monday.
At the request of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the couple will attend a rugby match (France vs. Wales), meet with “young French leaders from a variety of fields,” and dine with the United Kingdom’s ambassador to France.
Although the duo have visited Paris before, this will be the first time they visit in an official royal capacity.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has stated that she plans to begin the procedure of withdrawing from the European Union by the end of March, at the very latest. The timing means that the U.K. will likely be fully withdrawn from the EU by summer 2019.
The royal visit is likely a way of extending an olive branch to France and signaling that the U.K. wishes to maintain a strong alliance, despite the fact that they are leaving the union. However, according to Express, the trip is not meant to be “overtly political.”
"We have a very strong relationship with France and the French people and this visit will celebrate those close ties,” a senior royal aide told the newspaper.
The visit also comes just before the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death in Paris. However the royal couple is expected to avoid the Pont d’Alma tunnel where Princess Diana died in a car crash in August 1997.