A LAVISH banquet that was planned for King Charles and Emmanuel Macron at the Palace of Versailles is set to be moved over threats of violence.
The event, which was meant to be the “highlight” of the monarch’s visit to France, will be moved to a different location as furious protests continue across the country.
An aide to the French President told the BFM news channel that widespread rioting made the engagement too risky.
President Macron’s decision to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 without a parliamentary vote has sparked waves of violence in France with protesters clashing with police for the past week.
The presidential source said: “The dinner between Charles III and Emmanuel Macron, planned for Monday, may not be held at Versailles, as initially planned.”
Organisers “plan to hold it somewhere else,” with the Elysée Palace in central Paris a likely replacement.
The event at Versailles was meant to be the glittering highlight of the State Visit-Charles’s first as monarch.
The King and Camilla, the Queen Consort were set to arrive at the ancient palace on Monday evening, so as to join 200 handpicked guests being hosted by Mr Macron and his wife, Brigitte Macron.
A concert was to be held in the Royal Chapel, and then dinner would have been served on Duplessis porcelain plates made during the reign of Louis XV.
But demonstrators including opposition politicians have accused Mr Macron of being completely out of touch with the lives of ordinary people.
Trade unionists and other protesters have already pledged to disrupt all events attended by the British Monarch, and Versailles would have been Number 1 target.
MP Sandrine Rousseau said: “It’s amazing. “We are going to have Emmanuel Macron, the Republican monarch meeting Charles III while people in the street are demonstrating.
“Can this really be happening? This is an incredible denial of democracy.
“Something is happening in this country – is the priority really to receive Charles III at Versailles?”
Versailles – west of Paris – is where Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, France’s last proper king and queen, lived before being guillotined at the height of the 1789 Revolution.
The palace, which was built by the Sun King, Louis XIV, still represents the fabulous wealth and privilege of France’s pre-revolutionary Royals.
A Buckingham Palace source said the situation in France “was being monitored,” but there were no immediate plans to cancel the trip, which starts on Sunday.
Leave a Reply