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Lavish French banquet is queen's reward for gruelling day

Published on Jun 7, 2014 6:20 AM
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II toasts with French President Francois Hollande at a state dinner at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris, following the international D-Day commemoration ceremonies in Normandy, marking the 70th anniversary of the World War II Allied landings in Normandy. -- PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - After a gruelling day, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II was treated to a lavish banquet at President Francois Hollande's Elysee Palace on Friday evening.

The 88-year-old British monarch spent the day in Normandy, mingling with the public and D-Day veterans and attending a series of ceremonies to mark the 70th anniversary of the invasion that changed the course of World War II.

Having sought royal guidance on what to serve, Hollande treated the queen and husband Prince Philip, 92, to a classic French meal including a starter of duck foie gras, a delicacy she loves but is eschewed on ethical grounds by her heir Prince Charles.

The foie gras, fattened liver which is controversial because geese or ducks are force-fed to produce it, was served with a gelee of Sauternes, the famous dessert wine of southwestern France that has long been a favourite of the British royals.

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