The grand celebrations for the Bastille Day parade began at Champs-Élysées in the presence of French President, Emmanuel Macron, first lady, Brigette Macron and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the guest of honour.
Upon arriving at the venue President Macron met PM Modi and both of them shared a traditional Narendra Modi hug, after which the PM met other dignitaries who were present at the venue as well.
Macron arrived in an open vehicle with soldiers in horses, jeeps and bikes marching along with him. He also waved at the people who had gathered to witness the parade on French National Day. Champs-Élysées was coloured in red, blue and white – colours of the French Flag for the grand celebrations.
French First Lady, Brigitte Macron and French Prime Minister, Élisabeth Borne received Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was in his customary off-white kurta-pyjama, paired with a navy blue jacket to the Bastille Day Parade in Paris.
An Indian tri-services contingent is a part of the Bastille Day Parade. Three Indian Air Force Rafale fighter jets are also participating in the Bastille Day flypast over the Champs Elysees in Paris. Notably, India had bought French-made Rafale fighter jets back in 2015.
Bastille Day commemorates the day in 1789 that French citizens stormed the Bastille fortress, which was used to detain prisoners and had become a symbol of the harsh rule of the French monarchy. The movement against French monarchy is also known as the French Revolution.
This day also comes amidst a delicate time for Emmanuel Macron who has been facing the brunt of the French public because of the killing of the 17-year-old in Paris and his earlier decision to raise the retirement age. Both of which have caused massive protests in France.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also awarded France’s highest civilian and military award, Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour by French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace on Thursday.