Under heavy security, Prince William and Princess Kate started the second day of their Paris visit with the French capital on edge after an early-morning shooting at the city’s Orly Airport.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stuck to their planned schedule on Saturday as events unfolded around the city
A man was shot dead at the airport after he allegedly tried to take a soldier’s assault weapon. Two hours earlier, the suspect allegedly fired at officers, wounding one in the face, during a traffic stop in a suburb north of Paris, according to The Associated Press. The man then carjacked a woman’s car that was later found near Orly, Paris police said.
William and Kate, who flew to Paris by private jet and used a different airport, are to return to the UK later this afternoon. A Kensington Palace spokesman said their plans remain unchanged so far.
The royal couple’s first stop Saturday was a visit to Les Invalides, a Paris landmark, to honor both World War II veterans and survivors of the terrorism attacks in Paris in November 2015 and in Nice in July 2016. One of the attack victims who met with William and Kate had been shot seven times. The Cambridges also met with emergency service teams and first responders who helped the injured in the Nice and Paris attacks.
Prince William and Kate then made their way to the Musee D'Orsay where they viewed iconic paintings in the museum’s famed Impressionist Gallery. Several of the works will be shown at the Tate Britain Gallery in London later this year for a special exhibition showcasing ties between the French and British museums.
Kate, who received her degree in art history, is an advocate for the arts and a patron of the National Portrait Gallery.
In a nod to the French, Kate was dressed in a belted Chanel coat and matching handbag pleasing her hosts in France.
The Musee d'Orsay houses among the finest collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings in the world by masters including Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir Cezanne and Van Gogh .
William and Kate requested to see some of Monet's famous paintings of water lilies. They also stopped to admire Monet's depiction of London's Houses of Parliament and fog along the River Thames. The museum remained opened during their visit with tourists appearing both delighted and shocked to see the couple and with some taking snapshots on their phones of the famous visitors.
Prince William and Princess Kate continued their tour, undeterred by the police activity around Paris, greeting children at the city's Trocadero and stopping to pose for a photo with the Eiffel Tower as the backdrop. They also observed a children's rugby exercise with young fans outside the Eiffel Tower.
William and Kate concluded their visit by joining fans at a Wales versus France rugby match at the Stade de France. William joked with French President Francois Hollande on Friday that he will be "cheering the Welsh."
William is royal patron of the Welsh Rugby Union, a position he took over from his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, in December 2016.
William famously showed his solidarity with the French people just days after the November 2015 terror attack in Paris which targeted Stade de France. In the aftermath of the attack, William attended an England versus France soccer match at London's Wembley Stadium and sang the French national anthem.
Prince William and Princess Kate touched down in Paris on Friday, kicking off a two-day charm offensive ahead of England’s planned exit from the European Union, known as Brexit. The couple met with Hollande at the Elysee Palace and attended a black-tie reception and dinner at the British Embassy.
William, 34, reassured the French in his speech at the British Embassy that the partnership between Great Britain and France will remain strong.
"This partnership will continue despite the United Kingdom's recent decision to leave the European Union," William said.
William and Kate attended a series of events to honor and celebrate the French for their resilience in the wake of the Paris and Nice terrorist attacks and to celebrate French arts and culture.
"I have been reminded over the last few years, as Catherine and I have attended commemorations of the two world wars, how much [our two countries] have experienced together and have stood together in moments of great crisis. Our relationship is just as strong and enduring today. Our hearts went out to the people of France when you responded so bravely to the awful terrorist attacks of the last two years," William said.
The couple's visit to Paris has enormous political significance in the wake of the United Kingdom’s decision to withdraw from the European Union.
The Paris trip is among a series of scheduled visits by the royal family to European countries in the months ahead -- including William's and Kate's July visit to Germany and Poland. The trips are intended to remind European neighbors that Britain will remain their ally and partner.
Kate wore a black, tea-length Alexander McQueen dress accessorized with a pearl-drop necklace and pearl cocktail ring to a reception and later slipped into a glamorous Jenny Packham gown for a black-tie dinner hosted by Britain's ambassador to France, Edward Llewellyn. Guests for the evening included actresses Kristen Scott Thomas, who played Queen Elizabeth II in "The Audience" on Broadway, and Audrey Tatou and actor Jean Reno.
William and Kate left their two young children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, at home during their Paris visit.
The Duke and Duchess chat to Les Invalides patients - two Parisians wounded in the recent Paris attacks #RoyalVisitParis pic.twitter.com/ijX3d5xZe5— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) March 18, 2017
The couple are staying at the British ambassador's residence during their visit among heightened security around the capitol. The residence, built in the 18th century, is one of the best known buildings in Paris and is located close to Elysee Palace.