The highly anticipated visit of King Charles III to France was postponed due to the ongoing protests in Paris over the pension reform. The French presidency announced on Friday that the visit, initially scheduled from 26-28 March, would be postponed to a later date. This would have been the first trip abroad for the British monarch since she became queen in September of last year.
Concerns over Protests
President Emmanuel Macron expressed concerns about the ongoing protests in Paris and said he would instead welcome the King in “conditions which reflect our friendly relations.” Over one million people have reportedly joined the protests, and 457 people were arrested, according to France 24. In addition, 441 security personnel were injured during the nationwide protests.
Between 2:00 and 7:00 pm on Thursday, a South African student in Paris participated in the protests. He said, “It felt important to stand with the French people and my fellow French students.” The student also said that the protest wasn’t so much about the retirement age as it was against how the bill was passed. She said, “I’m worried. It seems like it will get violent,” to show that she was worried.
Postponing the Visit
A call was made between President Macron and King Charles III on the morning of the announcement. The British press speculated that Macron was worried that banqueting with the King of England amidst the ongoing protests would be his Marie Antoinette moment. However, the French presidency said the state visit would be rescheduled “as soon as possible.” The British queen and Camilla, the Queen Consort, were supposed to arrive in Paris on Sunday, go to Bordeaux on Tuesday, and then go to Germany.
King Charles III’s planned visit to France has been postponed due to concerns about the ongoing protests in Paris over the pension reform. However, the French presidency expressed its intention to welcome the King in conditions that reflected the friendly relations between the two countries.