According to Downing Street, King Charles III's official visit to France has been postponed at the president's request. After unions announced a day of pension demonstrations while the president was there, he declared that continuing "would not be sensible and would lack common sense."
It had been planned for the journey to Bordeaux and Paris to start on Sunday. However, Thursday saw some of the worst acts of violence in both towns since the start of the protests in January. Charles III and Camilla, the Queen Consort, decided to postpone their three-day tour because of the "situation in France," according to Buckingham Palace. The statement added that "Their Majesties greatly anticipate the chance to visit France as soon as dates can be found."
President Macron stated that he felt it would be inappropriate for the King and Camilla to travel from the time on Thursday night when unions declared a 10th national day of action for Tuesday, two days into the state visit.
"I decided to take the initiative this morning to contact [the King] and explain the situation because we have a great deal of friendship, respect, and esteem for His Majesty, the Queen Consort, and the British people. We recommended a delay out of friendship and common sense."
The decision was "taken with the agreement of all parties," the UK government added. According to Mr. Macron, France suggested moving the journey to the beginning of the summer "when things calm down again."
The choice costs France and President Macron a great deal of dignity. This was intended to be a showcase for France, showcasing the best of French culture to the new monarch and fostering a recently rekindled relationship. Right- and left-leaning opponents of the president responded quickly.
While Jean-Luc Mélenchon on the extreme left was relieved the "meeting of kings at Versailles" had been called off and added that "the English" knew that France's interior minister was "pathetic on security," Eric Ciotti of the Republicans said the cancellation brought "shame on our nation."
The journey had been impossible due to the protests. Over a million people participated in largely peaceful protests on Thursday, but violence broke out in a few French towns.
The Bordeaux municipal hall's entrance was set on fire. Paris, where waste has not been picked up since March 6, saw the use of tear gas and 903 fires, according to Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin.
The Council of Europe stated that there was no justification for "excessive force" by authorities even though hundreds of police officers were hurt throughout France while stun grenades broke demonstrators.
French officials worked to convince the public for much of Friday morning that the state visit, scheduled for March 26 to 29, would go forward and that security was in place. A few UK reporters had already traveled to Paris to cover the occasion.
A first state visit to one of the UK's closest and earliest allies, this was a very significant journey for the King. The King and Camilla were scheduled to ride into the heart of Paris down the Champs-Elysées before attending a meal at Versailles with President Macron.
In one of the major Paris attractions, the Musée d'Orsay, Camilla was scheduled to inaugurate an art exhibition. Then they were supposed to go to Bordeaux.
There are "no known threats" against the King, Interior Minister Mr. Darmanin earlier on Friday stated. The visit to Bordeaux has been modified, according to Bordeaux Mayor Pierre Hurmic, "so that it can go forward under the best protection, so as not to expose the King to any difficulties at all."
Yet when faced with the idea of leading the King through the trash- and graffiti-filled streets, with every public appearance surrounded by security, and every move threatened by strikes, the French president took the apparent decision.
Although he was under pressure, the UK government may have participated in the decision-making process.
The Bordeaux tour, which was meant to be centered on organic wineries, was a complete failure. The town hall, whose entrance was set ablaze on Thursday, was scheduled to be visited.
The president would have had poor domestic reception from the image. Eating with a king in Versailles would have been shockingly inappropriate and might have given his critics too much ammunition.
In a television interview on the eve of Thursday's nationwide demonstration, President Macron said that the government's reforms were necessary for the country's economic health and that he was willing to bear the unpopularity that would follow.
King Charles will be disappointed by the postponement, which will be highly embarrassing to President Macron.
Government recommendations are followed when making state visits. The background information consistently emphasized the significance of this diplomatic statement about restoring relations with European neighbors.
On Wednesday, the King and Camilla were scheduled to fly from France to Germany. Berlin will serve as the starting point of Charles' first state visit.
Edited by: Whitney Edna Ibe
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