King Charles III is set to embark on a state visit to France in September, marking a rescheduled trip after it was initially postponed due to intense protests against pension reform earlier this year.
The trip aims to emphasize the improving relations between France and Britain.
A French newspaper reported that the state visit has been rescheduled for September, with King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla intending to visit both Paris and Bordeaux in the southwest, as initially intended.
The anticipated dates are around September 20 to 22, and preparations for the visit were underway, with King Charles’s security team having visited Bordeaux in July.
Late September is shaping up to be a bustling period in France, with Pope Francis scheduled to visit and the country also playing host to the Rugby World Cup. Also, there’s speculation that Prince William might join his father on the trip and potentially seize the chance to attend the Wales rugby match against Fiji in Bordeaux.
President Emmanuel Macron’s office, contacted by AFP, declined to comment on the report.
The controversy surrounding the proposal to increase the retirement age from 62 to 64 was intensified when Macron utilized a contentious executive authority to advance the measure through parliament in March, bypassing a vote. The ensuing protests occasionally escalated into violence, and extensive strikes lasting for weeks severely disrupted various aspects of public life in France.
Macron took the decision to cancel the visit, which would have been King Charles’ first official trip abroad as monarch.
The Elysee palace said the president wished “to welcome His Majesty King Charles III in conditions which reflect our friendly relations”.