PARIS (Reuters) -President Emmanuel Macron has given Queen Elizabeth a horse belonging to the French Republican Guard to mark her jubilee, describing the monarch as the "golden thread" that had bound France and Britain during her 70-year reign.
Macron later paid tribute to the queen during a flame rekindling ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe monument, where he laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier in the presence of Britain's ambassador to France, Menna Rawlings.
Elizabeth is known for her love of horses. Fabuleu de Maucour, the seven-year-old grey gelding gifted by Macron, escorted the president down the Champs Elysees in Paris last month as part of an official ceremony, Macron's office said.
Britain kicked off four days of pageantry and parties on Thursday to celebrate Elizabeth's rule.
Macron paid tribute to the queen for having provided an element of stability amid times of war and profound changes in society.
"You are the golden thread that binds our two countries, the proof of the unwavering friendship between our two countries and our nations," Macron said.
Macron has been one of the harshest critics of Britain's decision-making after its vote to leave the European Union, but the president expressed his admiration for a queen who took to the throne less than a decade after World War Two ended.
Macron also gifted a thoroughbred to President Xi Jinping when he made a three-day state visit to China in 2018.
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta, John Irish and Michel RoseEditing by Frances Kerry and Alistair Bell)