King Charles’s first visit to France since becoming monarch could be far from the lavish reception he was expecting over fears of violence.
The King was set to receive a decadent welcome party at the Palace of Versailles on Monday, but due to rioting in Paris it has been deemed ‘too risky’.
Protesters have been fighting battles for the past week following President Emmanuel Macron’s controversial decision to raise the age of retirement from 62 to 64 without a parliamentary vote.
Images from the French capital and across the country in the last week show dissenters smashing windows and being pepper-sprayed among burning piles of rubbish.
A strike by waste collectors in response to the proposals has lasted for 15 days, leaving dustbins to overflow and litter to gather at the sides of roads.
The pension bill, raising the retirement age in France from 62 to 64, will become law after the government survived two no-confidence votes.
Demonstrators, as well as politicians in the opposition, have accused the French ruler of being ‘completely out of touch’.
Trade unionists and other protesters have pledged to disrupt all events attended by the British Monarch, with Versailles its ‘Number 1 target’.
A source told the Mirror: ‘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 King and Camilla, the Queen Consort, were set to arrive at the ancient palace on Monday evening along with 200 handpicked guests hosted by Mr Macron and his wife, Brigitte Macron.
It was to be followed by a concert in the Royal Chapel, and then dinner would have been served on Duplessis porcelain plates made during the reign of Louis XV.
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, situated to the west of Paris, is where Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, France’s last proper king and queen, lived before they were 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.
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