Prime Minister John Key and his family have attended Bastille Day celebrations with French President Francois Hollande in Paris.

US Secretary of State John Kerry was also at the event, held under tight security because of terrorist attacks in Paris last year.

Key, his wife Bronagh and children Stephanie and Max watched the military parade along the Champs Elysee to mark the start of the French Revolution - the storming of the Bastille.

It is France's National Day, but the Keys had a bit of home to watch this year. The New Zealand and Australia Defence Forces were guests of honour to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. The 85-strong NZDF contingent was led by a Maori warrior party followed by personnel across the services, many wearing replica World War One uniforms. It was led by Lieutenant Colonel Eugene Whakahoehoe. The NZDF contingent got some attention in advance - photos from the dress rehearsal of Maori warrior, Private Adrian Te Aonui, running along the Champs-Elysee alongside the New Zealand crew featured in international media.

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Key also lunched with the Defence Force before visiting a World War One exhibition at the Musee de l'Armee. He was due to have a formal meeting with Hollande early on Friday morning

The AFP reported that more than 3,000 people take part in the parade as well as about 240 on horseback, 200 vehicles, 55 planes and 30 helicopters.