President Emmanuel Macron, facing his guest from a chair on the other side of the small round table, appeared to make his guest feel at home. Macron modernized the palace furniture after his 2017 election, casting off formality for high-toned comfort and a more relaxed style.
The two men joked, with Macron slapping his hand on the table. Johnson put his foot on it, while Macron pointed to the floor — where feet belong. Boris then said "sorry" with a wave and laugh. The informal posture of the two, acting like clowning chums despite differences over Britain's expected fall departure from the EU, may be the new normal in the often-tense world of diplomacy. After all, Macron squeezed the thigh of President Donald Trump during a meeting in Paris in November.
The Elysee later called Thursday's encounter "complete" and "constructive."