March 23, 2023

King Charles won’t shelve state visit to France despite protests – UK

King Charles’s coronation

There are no plans to change King Charles III’s state visit to France next week despite social disorder rocking the country, the UK government said Thursday.

“We certainly don’t get into the realms of dictating that sort of thing to His Majesty. That will be a decision for them,” Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s spokesman told reporters.

But he added: “I’m not aware of any plans to change the plan.”

Charles and his wife Camilla are due to be in France from Sunday to Wednesday, and then in Germany, for the first state visits abroad of his reign following the death last September of Queen Elizabeth II.

Charles will join President Emmanuel Macron for a ceremony of remembrance at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, and for a banquet at the Palace of Versailles, before heading on to Bordeaux in the southwest.

Some French opposition politicians have queried whether the trip should go ahead as anti-Macron protesters clash with riot police. Charles risks facing rubbish-strewn streets and transport strikes.

“We are keeping an eye on how things are developing politically and the security situation,” a source at the British embassy in Paris told AFP.

“That will continue right up to the visit.”


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