View all news

Exhibition to mark 120th anniversary of the Entente Cordiale signing

The Entente Cordiale agreements at the exhibition France in the UK

Dr Charlotte Faucher (second left) with Guillaume PĂ©rissol (French Institute Head Librarian and co-curator), Anissia Morel (Director of the French Institute in London) and Lucy Frazer MP (Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) France in the UK

Press release issued: 3 April 2024

A new exhibition marking the 120th anniversary of the Entente Cordiale, a pivotal agreement between Britain and France, has been co-curated by a University of Bristol academic.

Titled 'When Marianne and Britannia Meet', the new exhibition reunites archives of great historical significance for the first time, and traces the history of the Entente Cordiale agreements and their global repercussions.

Dr Charlotte Faucher, Lecturer in the School of Modern Languages at the University of Bristol, has worked closely with Dr Guillaume Perissol from the Institut français du Royaume-Uni to create this new exhibition which will run until 27 April.

The UK’s National Archives displayed, for one evening only on 27 March, the original British copies of the 1904 agreements and the French instrument of ratification held at Kew. The French Diplomatic Archives brought from Paris invaluable archives, including one of the declarations signed in 1904. These documents will be on display for the duration of the exhibition.

This free exhibition has been organised by the Institut français du Royaume-Uni, with the support of the French Embassy in the UK, and in partnership with the UK’s National Archives and the French Diplomatic Archives. It is part of a series of major celebratory events and new projects commemorating the signing of the 1904 agreements between the UK and French governments, which improved bilateral relations.

Visitors will discover remarkable documents (archives, cartoons etc.) which will immerse them in the Belle Époque and the diplomatic negotiations which aimed at building peace between the two countries.

Dr Faucher said: “The agreements, which we now referred to as the Entente Cordiale, were significant in appeasing long-lasting Franco-British tensions and they are central to our understanding of twentieth-century Europe.”

An explainer video created by Dr Faucher explaining the historical significance of the documents is available here: French historian Charlotte Faucher explains the Entente Cordiale (

The exhibition has been made possible thanks to the generous support of Natixis Corporate & Investment Banking and the Friends of the French Institute Trust.

The exhibition will open Wednesday to Friday 1pm to 6pm, Thursdays 1pm to 7pm, Saturday 12pm to 6pm, and closed Sunday to Tuesday. There will be guided tours by Dr Faucher on Saturday 13 April and Saturday 20 April at 2pm, 3pm, and 4pm.

Edit this page