UK & World News
Queen To Mark D-Day Landings On State Visit
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will mark the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings during a state visit to France in June.
The announcement contradicts recent speculation the Queen is cutting back on her overseas duties.
The Queen's communications secretary said in a statement issued by Buckingham Palace: "Her Majesty and His Royal Highness are visiting at the invitation of the President of France, President Hollande."
Before being received at the Elysee Palace in Paris on June 6, the Royal couple will attend events in Normandy to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the landings.
The Queen, who is head of the Armed Forces, and Prince Philip, who served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War, have both suffered illness in the past 12 months.
But such a trip organised and announced so far in advance may suggest both are in good health.
Sky News understands the Queen asked Prime Minister David Cameron to accept the invitation on her behalf during meetings between the two political leaders in London last week.
The Queen's last state visit to France was in 2004.
She also attended the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy on June 6, 2004.
The last official state visit by a French President to the UK was by Nicolas Sarkozy in 2008, accompanied by his wife Carla Bruni.
Mr Hollande and the Queen have never met before and after weeks mired in scandal surrounding his personal life, it is not yet clear whether he will introduce the Royal couple to a first lady of France or not.
Her Majesty made her first state visit to France in 1957, to see President Rene Coty, then returned in 1972 at the invitation of Georges Pompidou.
She was the guest of Francois Mitterand in 1992 and Jacques Chirac in 2004.
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