Charles III arrives Sunday in France, for his first state visit abroad as sovereign, and already his arrival raises controversy, while the social climate is tense in France. “Unbelievable, we will have Emmanuel Macron, the republican monarch, who will receive Charles III, who will go down the Champs-Élysées, who will go to dinner in Versailles, while the people in the street are demonstrating,” indignant the ecologist deputy Sandrine Rousseau on BFMTV Wednesday, asking for its cancellation. “We will continue to mobilize [against the pension reform, editor’s note] and this visit will be in our sights,” warned trade unionists Mathieu Obry (CGT) and Yvan Fort (FO) in the newspaper Sud-Ouest this week.
This type of event is always ultra-secure
The Prefect of Paris, Laurent Nunez
Saying he was “very serene”, the prefect of Paris, Laurent Nunez, explained on BFMTV that “this type of event is always ultra-secure” and that there will be “a security device that allows to treat all situations”. Buckingham Palace “closely monitors” the French political situation, reports the Daily Mail, which evokes a possible “impact on logistics”. Queen Elizabeth II’s last state visit in France was in 2014.
Here is the program of Charles III and his wife Camilla.Monday: the Champs-Élysées, the Senate and the Palace of VersaillesThe day after their arrival in France, Charles III and Camilla will participate with Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron in a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe. The king will lay a wreath on the tomb of the unknown soldier, before walking down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées to the Élysée, accompanied by the Republican Guard. The Daily Mail sees this as a “high-risk” moment, when protesters against the pension reform may want to “publicly humiliate President Macron”.Then, the King of England will deliver a speech in the Senate Chamber, in the presence of parliamentarians from both chambers. This will be a first. In 2004, Elizabeth II went to the Senate, but spoke – in French – in the Conference Room of the Luxembourg Palace. Meanwhile, Camilla and Brigitte Macron will inaugurate the Manet-Degas exhibition at the Musée d’Orsay, which opens on Tuesday.This will be followed by a visit for the royal couple to the 19M gallery in the 19th arrondissement of Paris founded by Chanel – and designed by architect Rudy Ricciotti – to promote the crafts of fashion and decoration. Charles III and Camilla will also visit the Centquatre cultural centre with the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo. Then, at the British Embassy, the King will meet with entrepreneurs of the ecological transition. To close this day, a state banquet will be organized in their honor at the Palace of Versailles. In any case, this is home contractors what was officially planned. According to BFMTV, due to the demonstrations against the pension reform, the authorities are thinking about organizing this presidential dinner in another place. The Élysée is one of the tracks considered.Tuesday: a day in BordeauxCharles III and Camilla had to go to Bordeaux by train. Then, they will take a tram to the Place de la Bourse, where the famous water mirror on the banks of the Garonne is located. “It is almost certain that the king will not be able to take the tramway” in Bordeaux as he planned, Pascal Mesgueni, CFTC delegate at the TBM transport company, told AFP.The royal couple will then be received at City Hall by the ecologist mayor Pierre Hurmic. Then, Charles III and Camilla inaugurated the new British consulate in Bordeaux.Then, while the Queen Consort will visit a homeless centre, the King will travel to Landiras, south of Bordeaux, to observe the damage caused by last summer’s forest fires, and listen to rescuers and residents.Finally, they will meet to visit an organic vineyard: Château Smith Haut Lafitte, a grand cru from Pessac-Léognan. Charles III and Camilla will return to the capital by train on Tuesday evening.Wednesday: the flower market in Paris, and direction Germany
It is on the Ile de la Cité in Paris, near the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral, that the royal couple will end their visit: they will go to the Queen Elizabeth II flower market where they plan to meet the French. This place was renamed in 2014 on the occasion of the state visit of the British sovereign, who particularly appreciated the place.