France’s Macron Marks Second Bastille Day with Champs Elysees Parade

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French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron attend the traditional Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris
French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron attend the traditional Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris, France, July 14, 2018. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/Pool
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PARIS (Reuters)

France celebrated Bastille Day on Saturday with a colourful military parade in Paris presided by President Emmanuel Macron, and hoped the party would continue on Sunday when the national soccer team meets Croatia in the World Cup final in Russia

Standing on a military vehicle flanked by motorcycle escorts and led by a cavalry procession, Macron rode down the Champs Elysees, Paris’s most famous boulevard, for his second July 14 parade, cheered by hundreds of spectators.

 

Armoured vehicles of French Army attend the traditional Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees Avenue in Paris
Armoured vehicles of French Army attend the traditional Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees Avenue in Paris, France, July 14, 2018. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

 

Bastille Day commemorates the storming of a prison in 1789, a key event in the French Revolution.

After U.S. President Donald Trump in 2017, Macron this year invited the leaders of Japan and Singapore, two Asian nations with long-standing strategic partnership with France.

 

 

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who cancelled to deal with deadly floods at home, was represented by Foreign Minister Taro Kono.

The more than two-hour parade, with some 4,200 soldiers, 220 vehicles and around 100 aircrafts, saw Japanese and Singaporean soldiers take part as guests of honour.

 

French President Emmanuel Macron and Chief of the Defence Staff French Army General Francois Lecointre arrive in a command car for the traditional Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris
French President Emmanuel Macron and Chief of the Defence Staff French Army General Francois Lecointre arrive in a command car for the traditional Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris, France, July 14, 2018. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/Pool

 

There were two glitches, though, as two motorcycles collided during a demonstration in front of guests, while an Alpha jet from the Air Force Patrouille de France acrobatic unit released a wrong colour for the French flag during a formation flight.

France has mobilised around 110,000 security staff for the Bastille Day festivities and World Cup soccer final.

 

Alpha jets from the French Air Force Patrouille de France fly during the traditional Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees Avenue in Paris
Alpha jets from the French Air Force Patrouille de France fly during the traditional Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees Avenue in Paris, France, July 14, 2018. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

 

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to take to the streets, from Paris to the smallest of villages, and the celebrations are likely to continue long into Sunday night if France lifts the World Cup for the second time.

“Perhaps it will be us marching on the Champs Elysees tomorrow, we hope,” said Philippe on BFM Television, who travelled to Paris to watch the military parade and plans to return on Sunday to celebrate if France wins.

 

(Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Mark Potter)

 

French President Emmanuel Macron, his wife Brigitte Macron and French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe leave after the traditional Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris
French President Emmanuel Macron, his wife Brigitte Macron and French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe leave after the traditional Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris, France, July 14, 2018. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/Pool

 

French police on motorcycles attend the traditional Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees Avenue in Paris
French police on motorcycles attend the traditional Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees Avenue in Paris, France, July 14, 2018. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

 

French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron talk with the family of the late Gendarmerie officer Lieutenant-Colonel Arnaud Beltrame, after the traditional Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris
French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron talk with the family of the late Gendarmerie officer Lieutenant-Colonel Arnaud Beltrame, after the traditional Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris, France, July 14, 2018. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/Pool

 

A Boeing AWACS 1E-3F and Mirage 2000 jet fighters fly past the "Genie de la Liberte"gilded figure (Spirit of Freedom) on top of the Place de la Bastille's July Column in Paris
A Boeing AWACS 1E-3F and Mirage 2000 jet fighters fly past the “Genie de la Liberte” gilded figure (Spirit of Freedom) on top of the Place de la Bastille’s July Column in Paris, during the traditional Bastille Day military parade in Paris, France, July 14, 2018. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

 

Chief of the Defense Staff of the French Army General Francois Lecointre greets French President Emmanuel Macron, before reviewing the troops as part of the Bastille Day parade, in Paris
Chief of the Defense Staff of the French Army General Francois Lecointre greets French President Emmanuel Macron, before reviewing the troops as part of the Bastille Day parade, in Paris, France, July 14, 2018. Thibault Camus/Pool via REUTERS

 

 

Keep reading (more images ahead) …

 

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