It might seem a long way to travel for a day of Gallic pomp. Given what is happening in Washington, however, Donald Trump’s acceptance of President Macron’s invitation to this year’s Bastille Day celebrations makes perfect sense, even though it means a second trip across the Atlantic in a week.
Not that the advantage accrues only to Trump. Emmanuel Macron’s invitation to the US President, for a parade in which American troops will march to commemorate the centenary of the US entry into the First World War, is an adroit piece of diplomacy on a par with his early hosting of President Putin in the splendour of Versailles. It places the new French President at the diplomatic top table and it allows France to outflank the UK, with its clumsy courting of Trump and that on/off state visit.