Princess Kate is in Paris, taking in the City of Light with her husband, Prince William, and the wife of the future King of England is visiting with first responders to the November 2015 and July 2016 terror attacks and taking in the sights of the legendary city.
As People reports, Princess Kate’s first Paris stop was a visit to Les Invalides, the famed Paris hospital for soldiers that has since been turned into a military museum.
— hullidor45 (@hullidor45) March 18, 2017
As it turns out, however, Les Invalides is more than just a museum; as an agency, the museum, to this day, provides support to French veterans. And that includes first responders, such as those who responded to the deadly November 2015 Paris nightclub attacks, which killed 130 people, and the July 2016 Bastille Day attacks in Nice, which killed 86 people, as well as victims of those attacks.
In fact, Princess Kate and Prince William were privileged to get the chance to meet two people who were wounded in the Paris attacks, according to The Express: Jessica Bambal Akan, 25, a diner who was shot several times while she and friends were dining at La Belle Equipe restaurant, and Kevin, a 28-year-old fireman who was attending a concert at the Bataclan Theater when he was shot. Both victims have been rehabilitating at the hospital.
Prince William, Princess Kate to travel to Paris to meet diplomats, children, terror attack victims, 1st responders. https://t.co/iaM22GpbQR pic.twitter.com/TxORzfXUYg
— ABC News (@ABC) March 17, 2017
Kate praised both survivors for their inspiring stories of recovery.
“We think you are very strong and very brave, you’ve made amazing progress.”
Firefighter Kevin, speaking in English from his wheelchair, said that he will not let the terrorists win.
“I was ambitious, I am still ambitious. If I want revenge I must live and work and prove they [the terrorists] can’t touch how we live in our great country. It sparked something: I realised you need to live.”
From there, Kate and William ventured off to a less emotional and more cultural location, the famed Musée d’Orsay overlooking the Seine, which houses an impressive gallery of Impressionist works. As ABC News notes, Kate majored in Art History while at university and has been an advocate for the arts and a patron of the National Portrait Gallery.
After the museum, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge did what all tourists do when they’re in Paris – they stopped by the Eiffel Tower for a photo.
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) March 18, 2017
The royal couple also got the chance to meet some Parisian children, posing for some shots of a group of kids getting their rugby on.
Not surprisingly, the royals’ Paris visit concluded with a rugby match, where Prince William, whose father is styled The Prince of Wales, cheered on Wales as they took on France in a Six Nations Match. Unfortunately for the Prince, Wales lost 20-18.
The Prince and Princess’ Paris trip was not at all affected by some terrifying news to come out of France Saturday: early Saturday morning (Paris time), a gunman was shot and killed at Paris’ Orly airport after he tried to take a soldier’s weapon. The attack did not affect the plans of Kate and William, who had flown to Paris by private jet into a different airport.
Observers are calling William and Kate’s Paris trip a “charm offensive” – a necessary goodwill gesture as Britain prepares to move forward with plans to leave the European Union – the so-called “Brexit.”
In the coming months, Princess Kate and Prince William plan to visit several other European countries, with the goal of reminding the nations that Britain is their partner despite the country’s plans to leave the E.U.
[Featured Image by Michael Steele/Getty Images]