Saturday, March 25, 2023
King Charles and Camilla were due to be in France on Sunday for their first overseas visit, but violent nationwide protests prevented the royals from going.
The mass protests were sparked by President Macron raising the retirement age from 62 to 64 without a parliamentary vote. The nationwide demonstrations have led to hundreds of arrests and police officers being injured.
The much-anticipated French trip was not only a political move, but it also meant something personal to the King.
Royal historian and author Dr Tessa Dunlop believes France had been selected for the honour for a reason.
She told the Mirror that Charles “chose France for good reasons. With a rich royal heritage, the French know how to celebrate monarchy in style. All they lack is a Royal Family and on occasion have proved more than happy to borrow ours.”
She explained, “It is no coincidence that the late Queen’s first overseas visit with Philip was to Paris in 1948 – three months pregnant with Charles, morning sickness did not prevent Princess Elizabeth from wowing the crowds with her beautiful French and handsome husband. The trip was seen as a fresh start for the neighbouring countries post-war.”
Dunlop added that “Charles had selected France for his first state visit to help foster better bilateral relations. But it was also a personal decision.”
“Macron’s eloquent eulogy in wake of the Queen’s death and his shared concern for the environment made him an ideal match for the new King. Sadly, it is not to be,” she surmised.
Despite the postponement of the France trip, Charles and Camilla are still due to visit Germany next week with a string of engagements in Berlin and Hamburg.