Macron thanks London for giving wartime French a platform to fight tyranny

French President Emmanuel Macron delivered a passionate speech thanking London for giving his Second World War countrymen and women a voice and platform to fight Nazi tyranny.

Mr Macron praised the support the fledgling forces of Free France received from the UK, especially their "first weapon, a BBC microphone" used by General Charles de Gaulle to give his historic address.

The president marked the 80th anniversary of the broadcast, which rallied French people in the aftermath of the occupation of France, by visiting the capital – his first foreign visit since the Covid-19 outbreak.

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80th anniversary of famous wartime broadcast
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 18: French president Emmanuel Macron (L) says goodbye with a with a namaste gesture to Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (R) and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall after attending a ceremony in Carlton Gardens during a visit to commemorate the 80th anniversary of General de Gaulle’s 'Appel' speech on June 18, 2020 in London, England. L'Appel du 18 Juin (The Appeal of 18 June) was the speech made by Charles de Gaulle to the French in 1940 and broadcast in London by the BBC. It called for the Free French Forces to fight against German occupation. The appeal is often considered to be the origin of the French Resistance in World War II. President Macron is the first foreign dignitary to visit the UK since the coronavirus lockdown began. (Photo by Jonathan Brady - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
French President Emmanuel Macron (R) is greeted by Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson outside 10 Downing Street in central London on June 18, 2020 as he arrives for a meeting during a visit to mark the anniversary of former French president Charles de Gaulle's appeal to French people to resist the Nazi occupation. - Macron visited London on June 18 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of former French president Charles de Gaulle's appeal to French people to resist the Nazi occupation during World War II. (Photo by Frank Augstein / POOL / AFP) (Photo by FRANK AUGSTEIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Wreaths lay at the foot of the statues of Charles de Gaulle after a ceremony at the statue of former French president Charles de Gaulle at Carlton Gardens in central London on June 18, 2020 during a visit to mark the anniversary of former de Gaulle's appeal to French people to resist the Nazi occupation. - Macron visited London on June 18 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of former French president Charles de Gaulle's appeal to French people to resist the Nazi occupation during World War II. (Photo by Jonathan Brady / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JONATHAN BRADY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (L) gestures to French President Emmanuel Macron (C) outside 10 Downing Street in central London on June 18, 2020 as he arrives for a meeting during a visit to mark the anniversary of former French president Charles de Gaulle's appeal to French people to resist the Nazi occupation. - Macron visited London on June 18 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of former French president Charles de Gaulle's appeal to French people to resist the Nazi occupation during World War II. (Photo by HANNAH MCKAY / POOL / AFP) (Photo by HANNAH MCKAY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
French President Emmanuel Macron (R) and Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (L) look at documents and artefacts related to former French president Charles de Gaulle, including An original 1940s microphone like that de Gaulle would have used to broadcast the 'Appel' during a visit to 10 Downing Street in central London on June 18, 2020. - Macron visited London on June 18 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of former French president Charles de Gaulle's appeal to French people to resist the Nazi occupation during World War II. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
French president Emmanuel Macron (L) says goodbye with a namaste gesture to the Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (R) and Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall after a ceremony at the statue of former French president Charles de Gaulle at Carlton Gardens in central London on June 18, 2020 during a visit to mark the anniversary of former de Gaulle's appeal to French people to resist the Nazi occupation. - Macron visited London on June 18 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of former French president Charles de Gaulle's appeal to French people to resist the Nazi occupation during World War II. (Photo by Jonathan Brady / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JONATHAN BRADY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
French president Emmanuel Macron (R) and Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales attend a ceremony at the statue of former French president Charles de Gaulle at Carlton Gardens in central London on June 18, 2020 during a visit to mark the anniversary of former de Gaulle's appeal to French people to resist the Nazi occupation. - Macron visited London on June 18 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of former French president Charles de Gaulle's appeal to French people to resist the Nazi occupation during World War II. (Photo by Jonathan Brady / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JONATHAN BRADY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
French president Emmanuel Macron (R), Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (C) and Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall attend a ceremony at the statue of former French president Charles de Gaulle at Carlton Gardens in central London on June 18, 2020 during a visit to mark the anniversary of former de Gaulle's appeal to French people to resist the Nazi occupation. - Macron visited London on June 18 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of former French president Charles de Gaulle's appeal to French people to resist the Nazi occupation during World War II. (Photo by Jonathan Brady / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JONATHAN BRADY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
French President Emmanuel Macron (R) and Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (L) look at documents and artefacts related to former French president Charles de Gaulle, including Cross of Lorraine (R), given as part of the Order de la Liberation to Winston Churchill in 1958, a Lalique cockerel (L), given by de Gaulle to Clementine Churchill during the Second World War, during a visit to 10 Downing Street in central London on June 18, 2020. - Macron visited London on June 18 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of former French president Charles de Gaulle's appeal to French people to resist the Nazi occupation during World War II. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / various sources / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
French president Emmanuel Macron (R), Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (C) and Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall attend a ceremony at the statue of former French president Charles de Gaulle at Carlton Gardens in central London on June 18, 2020 during a visit to mark the anniversary of former de Gaulle's appeal to French people to resist the Nazi occupation. - Macron visited London on June 18 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of former French president Charles de Gaulle's appeal to French people to resist the Nazi occupation during World War II. (Photo by Jonathan Brady / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JONATHAN BRADY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 18, 2020: President of France Emmanuel Macron (right) arrives at 10 Downing Street to attend bilateral talks with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) on 18 June, 2020 in London, England. The French President's visit marks the 80th anniversary of General Charles de Gaulles appeal to the French people to resist the German occupation of France during World War II and comes at a crucial point in the Brexit negotiations.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 18, 2020: President of France Emmanuel Macron arrives in Downing Street to attend bilateral talks with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on 18 June, 2020 in London, England. The French President's visit marks the 80th anniversary of General Charles de Gaulles appeal to the French people to resist the German occupation of France during World War II and comes at a crucial point in the Brexit negotiations.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (L) and French President Emmanuel Macron (R) walk together to view documents and artefacts related to former French president Charles de Gaulle during a visit to 10 Downing Street in central London on June 18, 2020. - Macron visited London on June 18 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of former French president Charles de Gaulle's appeal to French people to resist the Nazi occupation during World War II. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / various sources / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (L) and Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (R) attend a ceremony to present the Legion d'Honneur France's highest distinction to London for services during WW2 at Carlton Gardens in central London on June 18, 2020 during a visit to mark the anniversary of former de Gaulle's appeal to French people to resist the Nazi occupation. - Macron visited London on June 18 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of former French president Charles de Gaulle's appeal to French people to resist the Nazi occupation during World War II. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / POOL / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 18: French president Emmanuel Macron lays a wreath at foot of the statue of Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother during a ceremony at Carlton Gardens on June 18, 2020 in London, England. L'Appel du 18 Juin (The Appeal of 18 June) was the speech made by Charles de Gaulle to the French in 1940 and broadcast in London by the BBC. It called for the Free French Forces to fight against German occupation. The appeal is often considered to be the origin of the French Resistance in World War II. President Macron is the first foreign dignitary to visit the UK since the coronavirus lockdown began. (Photo by Jonathan Brady - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 18: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall receive French President Emmanuel Macron during a ceremony at Carlton Gardens on June 18, 2020 in London, England. L'Appel du 18 Juin (The Appeal of 18 June) was the speech made by Charles de Gaulle to the French in 1940 and broadcast in London by the BBC. It called for the Free French Forces to fight against German occupation. The appeal is often considered to be the origin of the French Resistance in World War II. President Macron is the first foreign dignitary to visit the UK since the coronavirus lockdown began. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 18: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall receive French President Emmanuel Macron during a ceremony at Carlton Gardens on June 18, 2020 in London, England. L'Appel du 18 Juin (The Appeal of 18 June) was the speech made by Charles de Gaulle to the French in 1940 and broadcast in London by the BBC. It called for the Free French Forces to fight against German occupation. The appeal is often considered to be the origin of the French Resistance in World War II. President Macron is the first foreign dignitary to visit the UK since the coronavirus lockdown began. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
French president Emmanuel Macron (R) speaks as Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (C) and Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall look on during a ceremony at the statue of former French president Charles de Gaulle at Carlton Gardens in central London on June 18, 2020 during a visit to mark the anniversary of former de Gaulle's appeal to French people to resist the Nazi occupation. - Macron visited London on June 18 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of former French president Charles de Gaulle's appeal to French people to resist the Nazi occupation during World War II. (Photo by Jonathan Brady / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JONATHAN BRADY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (L) and French President Emmanuel Macron (R) lay wreaths at the statue of former French president Charles de Gaulle at Carlton Gardens in central London on June 18, 2020 during a visit to mark the anniversary of former de Gaulle's appeal to French people to resist the Nazi occupation. - Macron visited London on June 18 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of former French president Charles de Gaulle's appeal to French people to resist the Nazi occupation during World War II. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / POOL / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 18: Prime Minister, Boris Johnson greets French President, Emmanuel Macron while keeping at a social distance at Number 10 Downing Street on June 18, 2020 in London, England. L'Appel du 18 Juin (The Appeal of 18 June) was the speech made by Charles de Gaulle to the French in 1940 and broadcast in London by the BBC. It called for the Free French Forces to fight against German occupation. The appeal is often considered to be the origin of the French Resistance in World War II. President Macron is the first foreign dignitary to visit the UK since the Coronavirus Lockdown began. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (C) and French President Emmanuel Macron (L) arrive to lay wreaths at the statue of former French president Charles de Gaulle at Carlton Gardens in central London on June 18, 2020 during a visit to mark the anniversary of former de Gaulle's appeal to French people to resist the Nazi occupation. - Macron visited London on June 18 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of former French president Charles de Gaulle's appeal to French people to resist the Nazi occupation during World War II. (Photo by Jonathan Brady / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JONATHAN BRADY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales lays a wreath at the statue of former French president Charles de Gaulle at Carlton Gardens in central London on June 18, 2020 during a visit to mark the anniversary of former de Gaulle's appeal to French people to resist the Nazi occupation. - Macron visited London on June 18 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of former French president Charles de Gaulle's appeal to French people to resist the Nazi occupation during World War II. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / POOL / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (L), Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (C) and French President Emmanuel Macron (2nd L) arrive to lay wreaths at the statue of former French president Charles de Gaulle at Carlton Gardens in central London on June 18, 2020 during a visit to mark the anniversary of former de Gaulle's appeal to French people to resist the Nazi occupation. - Macron visited London on June 18 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of former French president Charles de Gaulle's appeal to French people to resist the Nazi occupation during World War II. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / POOL / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab (L) speaks with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian (R) during a meeting in London, England on June 18, 2020 in central London on June 18, 2020 as part of French President Emmanuel Macron's visit to mark the anniversary of former French president Charles de Gaulle's appeal to French people to resist the Nazi occupation. - Macron visited London on June 18 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of former French president Charles de Gaulle's appeal to French people to resist the Nazi occupation during World War II. (Photo by Leon Neal / POOL / AFP) (Photo by LEON NEAL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 18: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and French President Emmanuel Macron inspect the Grenadier Guards at Clarence House on June 18, 2020 in London, England. L'Appel du 18 Juin (The Appeal of 18 June) was the speech made by Charles de Gaulle to the French in 1940 and broadcast in London by the BBC. It called for the Free French Forces to fight against German occupation. The appeal is often considered to be the origin of the French Resistance in World War II. President Macron is the first foreign dignitary to visit the UK since the coronavirus lockdown began. (Photo by Jonathan Brady - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 18: French president Emmanuel Macron, lays a wreath at the foot of the statues of Charles de Gaulle, during a ceremony at Carlton Gardens on June 18, 2020 in London, England. L'Appel du 18 Juin (The Appeal of 18 June) was the speech made by Charles de Gaulle to the French in 1940 and broadcast in London by the BBC. It called for the Free French Forces to fight against German occupation. The appeal is often considered to be the origin of the French Resistance in World War II. President Macron is the first foreign dignitary to visit the UK since the coronavirus lockdown began. (Photo by Jonathan Brady - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 18: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and French President Emmanuel Macron inspect the Grenadier Guards at Clarence House on June 18, 2020 in London, England. L'Appel du 18 Juin (The Appeal of 18 June) was the speech made by Charles de Gaulle to the French in 1940 and broadcast in London by the BBC. It called for the Free French Forces to fight against German occupation. The appeal is often considered to be the origin of the French Resistance in World War II. President Macron is the first foreign dignitary to visit the UK since the coronavirus lockdown began. (Photo by Jonathan Brady - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
French President Emmanuel Macron (R) speaks with Hubert Germain (C), WWII veteran and 'Companion of the Liberation', and General Christian Baptiste (L), Ordre de la Liberation general delegate, during the visit of the 'Ordre de la Liberation' museum to mark the 80th anniversary of General de Gaulle's appeal (Appel du 18 juin) to the French people to resist the Nazi occupation during the World War II, in Suresnes, west of Paris, on June 18, 2020. (Photo by Yoan VALAT / POOL / AFP) (Photo by YOAN VALAT/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
French President Emmanuel Macron (L) speaks with French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe following the traditional annual ceremony at the Mont-Valerien, a memorial for the French who fought against the Nazis and those who were killed by the occupying forces, before travelling to London, in Suresnes, west of Paris, on June 18, 2020. - Macron travels to Britain on June 18 to commemorate Charles de Gaulle's call for resistance in World War II, against the very modern backdrop of grappling with Brexit and the coronavirus crisis. (Photo by Ludovic Marin / various sources / AFP) (Photo by LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images)
French President Emmanuel Macron (L) speaks with Hubert Germain (R), WWII veteran and 'Companion of the Liberation', during the visit of the 'Ordre de la Liberation' museum to mark the 80th anniversary of General de Gaulle's appeal (Appel du 18 juin) to the French people to resist the Nazi occupation during the World War II, in Suresnes, west of Paris, on June 18, 2020. (Photo by Yoan VALAT / POOL / AFP) (Photo by YOAN VALAT/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
French President Emmanuel Macron speaks with mayors of the communes that are Companions of the Liberation following the traditional annual ceremony at the Mont-Valerien, a memorial for the French who fought against the Nazis and those who were killed by the occupying forces, in Suresnes, west of Paris, on June 18, 2020. (Photo by Ludovic Marin / various sources / AFP) (Photo by LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images)
French President Emmanuel Macron reviews a military honour guard during the traditional annual ceremony at the Mont-Valerien, a memorial for the French who fought against the Nazis and those who were killed by the occupying forces, in Suresnes, west of Paris, on June 18, 2020. (Photo by Ludovic Marin / POOL / AFP) (Photo by LUDOVIC MARIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
A picture shows the uncovered statue of former British prime minister Winston Churchill in Parliament Square, central London on June 18, 2020 after protective boxing was removed in time for the visit of French President Emmanuel Macron. - The London statue of British wartime leader Winston Churchill that was controversially boxed up after anti-racism protests will be uncovered for a visit by French President Emmanuel Macron (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
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Mr Macron, speaking in French in the shadow of General de Gaulle's statue in Carlton Gardens, in central London, where the Free French had their headquarters, said: "Yes, Britain gave shelter to France.

"This is where de Gaulle was able to form the first ranks of the French army which would go on fighting. The soldiers of London.

"This is where de Gaulle was able to call on the French people to join the resistance. The soldiers of the shadows.

"Because 80 years ago today, on June 18 1940, the United Kingdom gave Free France its first weapon, a BBC microphone.

"So the airwaves carried de Gaulle's determined words and spirit of resistance, which built a bridge across the Channel for those refusing to be enslaved or give up their freedom."

Behind the president was the framed insignia of France's highest decoration,the Legion d'Honneur, awarded to London for its support of France during the Second World War.

Mr Macron had been welcomed to Britain for his brief visit by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, who stood nearby.

Listening to the open-air address were French and British dignitaries including the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

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