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Friday, December 1, 2023

Charles III in France: this highly symbolic place that the king might not visit after all

This Sunday, March 26, and until March 29, France will welcome Charles III for his very first official state visit as king. The monarch is expected to visit many symbolic places, between Paris, Versailles and Bordeaux. But according to BFMTV, one of these appointments may be cancelled due to the demonstrations against the pension reform.

Every hour of Charles III and Camilla’s trip to France from March 26 to 29 is set like clockwork. The royal couple will take up residence at the British Embassy on the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. They will be greeted by Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron at the Arc de Triomphe, where they will lay a wreath in memory of the Unknown Soldier, and then walk down the Champs-Élysées to the Élysée Palace. Charles will then address the Senate, while his wife will open the exhibition dedicated to Manet and Degas at the Musée d’Orsay. On Monday evening, the two couples are expected at the Palace of Versailles for a concert and a state banquet with some 200 other guests. The King and Queen Consort will then travel to Bordeaux to visit an organic vineyard and take stock of the damage caused by last summer’s fires in the region. Finally, they will inaugurate the new British consulate.

On paper, everything seems to be optimized. But this was without taking into account the tense social climate that reigns in France, in reaction to the pension reform, adopted Monday, March 20 by the Parliament. The country is indeed the scene of many demonstrations and episodes of strikes, which generates concern for the safety of their king … For the moment, Buckingham Palace does not seem to want to cancel this official trip. However, our colleagues from BFMTV reported this Wednesday, March 22, that it is likely that Charles III, Camilla, Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron will not finally go to Versailles on Monday evening for their state dinner, because of the demonstrations. “The authorities are considering holding this dinner in another place. The Élysée is currently a track considered, “says the news channel.


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Versailles is supposed to be the highlight of their stay

This evening within the walls of the famous castle built by Louis XIV is supposed to be the highlight of this stay in France. Charles and Camilla are expected to sit in the royal gallery of the chapel to enjoy a concert by the orchestra and choir of the Royal Opera of Versailles. “On the menu, works by British composers: Henry Purcell, John Blow and the most famous of them George Friedrich Handel, who had composed in 1927 the music for the coronation of King George II at Westminster Abbey,” says RTL. It is then planned that they will go to the mythical Hall of Mirrors to dine, seated at an impressive table 50 meters long, in front of precious porcelain and crystal services. Finally, if this evening is maintained, the royal couple will have the opportunity to exchange with the Macrons in addition to other members of the government, artists, authors, museum directors, or entrepreneurs invited to the event.

Photo credits: Agency / Bestimage

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