Macron nowhere to be seen as world leaders hold 'team photo' at COP26

Où est le Président? Macron is nowhere to be seen as world leaders (many of whom he is at loggerheads with) hold ‘team photo’ at Glasgow COP conference royal reception

  • The French President was seemingly absent from the COP26 royal reception 
  • It comes amid high tensions between France and AUKUS over submarine row
  • Macron and Boris Johnson discussed post-Brexit fishing rights earlier in the day
  • Macron on Sunday threatened ‘retaliation’ against the UK before backing down just hours before last night’s reception 

Where is Emmanuel Macron?

The French President, who is currently attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow this week, was nowhere to be seen at yesterday’s evening reception.

World leaders including Joe Biden, Boris Johnson, Angela Merkel and Justin Trudeau capped off the first day of the conference with a lavish royal reception at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum with Prince Charles, Prince William, Kate Middleton and the Duchess of Cornwall all in attendance.

But Macron, who was pictured earlier in the day speaking with Boris Johnson at the conference, had seemingly disappeared and could not be seen in any pictures of the event. 

His apparent absence comes amid high tensions between France and the triumvirate of Australia, the UK and the US over the submarine contract row, while Britain and France are locked in a bitter dispute over post-Brexit fishing rights. 

World leaders posed for a group photo during a lavish evening reception to mark the opening day of the COP26 summit in Glasgow, but Emmanuel Macron was nowhere to be seen

The first day of the conference concluded with the glitzy reception at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum with Prince Charles, Prince William, Kate Middleton and the Duchess of Cornwall all in attendance

Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron had a frosty standoff in Glasgow on Monday morning as the PM welcomed the French President to the COP26 climate change summit amid a furious Anglo-French row over fishing rights

Macron was even pictured sharing a joke with Prince Charles just hours earlier on Monday, but has seemingly disappeared and did not show his face at the royal reception


Several world leaders were in attendance, including US President Joe Biden (left with Prince William) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (right with the Duchess of Cornwall) 

Macron confirmed yesterday just hours before the evening reception that France would not go ahead with retaliatory measures against Britain amid the two nations’ bitter dispute over post-Brexit fishing rights. 

He declared discussions between France, the UK and the European Commission would ‘continue tomorrow’ and ruled out any retaliation against Britain because ‘it’s not while we’re negotiating that we’re going to impose sanctions’.  

Macron’s backing down from retaliatory measures followed shortly after he came face to face with Australian PM Scott Morrison at the COP26 event, whom he publicly called a liar for his role in the submarine row. 

When asked by reporters at the climate summit whether Morrison lied to him before tearing up a $90billion submarine contract – a move labelled ‘clumsy’ by Joe Biden – President Macron replied: ‘I don’t think, I know.’  

Though the reason for Macron’s disappearance is as yet unknown, his highly-publicised quarrels with several world leaders at the event may well have caused the French President to make an early exit. 

At the start of the evening the Queen urged world leaders to ‘earn a place in history’ and ‘answer the call of those future generations’ in an impassioned speech to representatives.

Her Majesty, 95, who was forced to miss the conference after her overnight stay in hospital last month, told leaders via video ‘to rise above the politics of the moment, and achieve true statesmanship’

After the monarch’s powerful speech, the Prime Minister said: ‘What we’ve got today, as Her Majesty alluded to, is the biggest gathering of world leaders in this country since the foundation of the UN at the end of the Second World War, and it’s quite an extraordinary historic event.  

‘But in a way, what we are doing today, is even more important, because we face nothing less than a mortal threat to our planet and to our civilisation, to our way of life.’

 The Queen urged world leaders to ‘earn a place in history’ and ‘to rise above the politics of the moment in her address to leaders at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow yesterday evening

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