Duke and Duchess of Cambridge head to Paris for two-day visit

The Duke and Duchess on a royal tour of Canada in 2016

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are due to travel to Paris later, on a two-day official visit.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are due to travel to Paris later, on a two-day official visit.

The royal couple will meet survivors of the Bataclan and Nice attacks. The trip comes just after Prince William faced a media backlash for missing a Commonwealth celebration to take a skiing holiday with friends.

It will be the Duke's first official visit to the French capital since his mother Princess Diana's death, in 1997.

He was 15 and his brother Prince Harry was 12 when she was killed in a car crash in the city almost 20 years ago.

Kensington Palace said the trip was at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Prince William has faced criticism from some newspapers this week after a video emerged of him dancing and in a DJ booth during a trip with friends to Verbier.

It led to questions over his work ethic after he missed a Commonwealth event with the Queen to take the holiday.

The itinerary for the Paris visit includes a reception for young French leaders and a formal dinner at the British Embassy. The couple will be travelling without their children, three-year-old George and one-year-old Charlotte.

A spokeswoman for the FCO said: "Royal visits play a very important role in the United Kingdom's bilateral diplomacy.

"Whilst every royal visit is unique, each visit is designed to support foreign policy objectives and promote closer ties across a range of areas, for example cultural, economic or political, between the UK and the host country."

'The glamorous card'

The trip comes a day after the Queen gave Royal Assent to the Brexit bill, which will allow the prime minister to notify Brussels that the UK is leaving the EU.

French political magazine Le Point said the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were "the weapon of glamour against a hard Brexit" and went on describe the visit was an attempt "to mitigate" the effect of Brexit on Europe.

Gala magazine called them " the glamorous card to make you forget Brexit".

Overseas trips are decided by the Royal Visits Committee, whose membership includes a number of royal private secretaries, the private secretary to the prime minister, the permanent under secretary of the FCO and the keeper of the Privy purse.

In July, Prince William and Kate will tour Poland and Germany on official visits.

Later this month, the Prince of Wales will embark on a nine-day visit to Europe, beginning in Romania followed by Italy and Austria.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will travel for the first time on the prime ministerial jet dubbed "Cam Force One" - the converted RAF A330 Voyager refuelling aircraft which was used by David Cameron when he was in office