King Charles news latest: Monarch’s safety ‘couldn’t be guaranteed’ amid France pension protests

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King Charles visit to France postponed amid widespread retirement age protests

French authorities feared the safety of King Charles would not be guaranteed on a trip around France coinciding with violent protests against President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reforms.

A three-day state visit was postponed at Mr Macron’s urging after security forces grew concerned over the King’s “habit of impromptu handshakes, and talking to ordinary people whenever he could”, a source who was involved in the planning of the trip told The Independent.

The King was due to arrive with the Queen Consort in Paris on Sunday, staying until Wednesday before moving on to Germany; an itinerary that had been seen as a coup for Mr Macron, who has sought to position himself as Europe’s de facto leader.

Buckingham Palace said the King and Queen Consort ”greatly look forward to the opportunity to visit France as soon as dates can be found.”

Mr Macron’s plan to raise the state pension age has unleashed a wave of fury in France. Over 450 protesters were arrested in Paris and beyond on Thursday as some 300 demonstrations drew more than a million people nationwide.


French feared King Charles wouldn’t be safe – source

French authorities feared the security of King Charles could not be guaranteed “because of his interest in mingling with crowds,” according to security sources in Paris.

A crack team of officers from the SDLP Protection Service unit rigorously studied the monarch’s profile before his intended State Visit this weekend.

“They became aware of the King’s habit of impromptu handshakes, and talking to ordinary people whenever he could,” said a source who was involved in the planning of four-days of events across France.

“There are huge social tensions in France, and there is no doubt that such good manners could have been very dangerous indeed.”

Peter Allen24 March 2023 12:50


Why are there protests in France?

Joe Sommerlad looks at the roots of the pension protests:

Liam James24 March 2023 13:30


King’s Bordeaux trip would have clashed with pension protests

French labour unions have called for a day of nationwide protests and strikes against pension reforms on Tuesday, when King Charles was due to travel to Bordeaux.

The western city has seen the most extreme protests so far against President Macron’s plans, with rioters yesterday setting alight the Bordeaux City Hall.

Bordeaux City Hall on fire yesterday


Liam James24 March 2023 12:30


Bordeaux city hall set on fire as one million join anti-Macron protests across France

The historic Bordeaux City Hall in France has been set on fire on the day of the biggest protest yet against Emmanuel Macron’s controversial attempts to push through reforms to raise the pension age.

Protesters gathered outside the Palais Rohan cheered as a part of the building went up in flames, one of a number of incidents of vandalism and violence across the country on Thursday evening after a day of largely peaceful strike action.

The largescale protests threaten the prospect of King Charles III’s visit to France – the British monarch’s trip next week was to be his first abroad after becoming king.

Thursday’s strike was the first day of national walkouts since Mr Macron pushed through a bill with his pension reforms, and upwards of one million people are reported to have taken part in protests and marches across France.

Liam James24 March 2023 12:05


Police and protesters clash over pension reform

Last night saw violent clashes on the streets of cities across France, as protesters call for Emmanuel Macron to reconsider his planned raising of the pension age from 62 to 64.


Riot police scuffle with a protester during a rally in Paris



Protesters run in tear gas during a demonstration in Lyon, central France



French Republican Security Corps officers hold a street as fire rages nearby



A protester throws a tear gas grenade back at riot police in Rennes, western France



A masked protester covers their face amid tear gas in Nantes, western France


Liam James24 March 2023 11:42


Palace says King ‘looking forward’ to trip

Buckingham Palace put out the following statement: “The King and The Queen Consort’s state visit to France has been postponed.

“Their Majesties greatly look forward to the opportunity to visit France as soon as dates can be found.”

Charles and Camilla were due to travel from France to Germany for a state visit, from next Wednesday to Friday, and it is understood the visit to Berlin will proceed as planned.

Liam James24 March 2023 11:32


King Charles postpones Paris trip amid pension riots

King Charles’s state visit to France has been postponed after French president Emmanuel Macron asked the British government to do so, the British prime minister’s office said, amid widespread rioting in Paris and elsewhere over pension reforms.

“This decision was taken with the consent of all parties, after the President of France asked the British government to postpone the visit,” a Downing Street spokesperson said.

Liam James24 March 2023 11:20

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