On March 24th, French President Emmanuel Macron’s office announced the postponement of King Charles III’s state visit to France. The decision was made due to the ongoing mass strikes and protests in the country. Macron cited “common sense and friendship” as the reason for the delay and stated that the visit would likely be rescheduled for the beginning of summer.
The planned celebrations of cross-Channel relations were at risk of disruption from the strikes and protests against pension reforms. The main concern was that protesters would use the occasion to further their cause against Macron’s plans to increase the retirement age. The visit was due to start on Sunday, and officials from both sides were closely monitoring the situation, with potential last-minute changes to the three-day program being considered.
The decision to postpone the visit was made with the agreement of both the French and British governments, after Macron asked the British government to postpone the visit. The visit will be rearranged as soon as possible, and Buckingham Palace confirmed that the King and Queen Consort Camilla are looking forward to the opportunity to visit France when new dates can be found. The striking trade unionists threatened to withhold red carpets for the visit, but the body responsible insisted they would still be rolled out as planned