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Did French President Emmanuel Macron’s ‘incognito’ stroll around London include a visit to Greggs? | UK News

Mourners out to pay tribute to the late Queen were stunned to see French President Emmanuel Macron strolling along the River Thames in London.

In a lighter moment during the Queen’s official mourning period, the VIP and his wife Brigitte, who had earlier been to see Her Majesty’s lying in state, decided to go walkabout through the Sunday London sunshine – and social media loved it.

French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron walk the day before Queen Elizabeth's funeral in Westminster Abbey, London, Britain September 18, 2022. Heiko Junge/NTB/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NORWAY OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN NORWAY.

The president mingled with those gathered on the streets around parliament – and was even said to have been spotted outside a branch of Greggs.

One person tweeted, under a photograph appearing to show the immaculately dressed leader, complete with designer sunglasses: “Juste un petit voyage incognito à Greggs” – “Just a little incognito trip to Greggs”!

To which someone replied: “Je voudrais un steak bake.”

Mr Macron had dropped his trademark blue suit, for a more sombre dark navy jacket, dark trousers and black trainers, for the stroll.

He had apparently decided to go “incognito” to gauge the mood of the British public.

But as they walked through central London, flanked by aides and security guards, they were anything but “incognito”.

“Possibly the least incognito person I’ve ever seen,” said a number of people on social media, including Alix Mortimer, who added: “As the saying goes, ‘as much talent for disguise as a giraffe in dark glasses trying to get into a polar bears-only golf club’.”

Video online shows passers-by spinning their heads to stare at the entourage, some recognising the figure, some not.

France's President Emmanuel Macron and first lady Brigitte Macron pay their respects to the coffin of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, following her death, during her lying-in-state at Westminster Hall, in London, Britain, September 18, 2022. REUTERS/John Sibley/Pool
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The pair changed out of sunglasses and sneakers before paying their respects to the Queen’s coffin

The French President and First Lady were due to join hundreds of other foreign dignitaries at a reception at Buckingham Palace on Sunday evening, where they planned to present King Charles with a book of pictures celebrating the Queen’s historic links and visits to France over the years.

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Liz Truss says ‘jury is out’ on whether Emmanuel Macron is ‘friend or foe’ | Politics News

Liz Truss refused to say if Emmanuel Macron is a “friend or foe” during the penultimate leadership hustings which also saw her take aim at “extremely boring” Keir Starmer.

The foreign secretary did not pull any punches when faced with quick-fire questions from TalkTV host Julia Hartley-Brewer at the event in Norwich.

Asked if the French President and leader of the UK’s closest neighbour, Emmanuel Macron, was a “friend or foe”, she replied: “The jury is out.”

Politics live: Sunak and Truss go head-to-head in penultimate hustings

She added: “If I become prime minister, I will judge him on deeds, not words.”

The relationship between the UK and France has suffered since Brexit, with the two sides rowing on issues such as fishing and migration.

When asked the same question, leadership rival Rishi Sunak replied instantly that President Macron was a “friend”.

French President Emmanuel Macron
Image:
French President Emmanuel Macron

He has previously said he wants to reset the UK’s relationship with Europe if he wins the race to succeed Mr Johnson.

During the quick-fire questions round, both candidates were asked if they would rather be stuck in a lift with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon or Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer.

Mr Sunak quipped that he would “rather take the stairs” – leading to a large round of laughter from the audience.

Ms Truss said she would pick Nicola Sturgeon so she can “persuade her to stop being a separatist by the time we got to the ground floor”.

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‘Rather take stairs’ than be stuck in lift with Starmer

It comes after the foreign secretary suggested she will “ignore” the Scottish leader over her wish for another independence referendum and called her an “attention seeker”.

It led to a war of words with Ms Sturgeon hitting back that Ms Truss asked her how she could get into Vogue when they met briefly last year.

After giving her answer, Ms Truss could not resist making a dig at the Labour leader, saying: “Frankly, being stuck in a lift with Keir Starmer would be extremely boring.”

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The opposition leader has previously been forced to defend himself against accusations he is too boring to be prime minister, saying “the only thing that is boring is being in opposition”.

Ms Truss also said Boris Johnson would be a better prime minister than Rishi Sunak after her leadership rival said he would prefer to see her in No 10 than the outgoing PM.

Ms Truss is widely expected to win the leadership contest when the result is announced on 5 September.

Mr Sunak said today that he will not leave politics if he is defeated while insisting there was still “everything left to play for”.