As it happened: European leaders join Macron for Bastille Day parade

Philippe Lopez, AFP | Sunday marks the centenary of France's traditional Bastille Day military parade.

French President Emmanuel Macron aims to showcase Europe's defence capabilities by putting European military cooperation at the heart of Sunday’s traditional Bastille Day parade. Read our liveblog to see how the ceremony unfolded.


Key EU leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, joined Macron to watch the annual parade down the Champs-Élysées that marks the July 14, 1789 storming of the Bastille fortress during the French Revolution.

The parade – which mobilised some 4,300 members of the armed forces, 196 vehicles, 237 horses, 69 planes and 39 helicopters – began at 10:30am Paris time (GMT+2).

The Champs-Élysées was reopened to traffic as soon as the parade finished but a few hundred protesters from the grassroots "Yellow Vests" movement tried to occupy it, prompting police to fire tear gas to try to disperse them.  Protesters hurled objects at the police, booed and set a bin on fire.

More than 150 Yellow Vest protesters were arrested in the skirmishes, according to police. 

Read our liveblog below to see how the ceremony unfolded.

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