King Charles and Queen Camilla's Trip to France Postponed Amid Riots Across the Country

King Charles and Queen Camilla were due to visit Paris starting Sunday

King Charles III and Britain's Camilla, Queen Consort leave after visiting Bolton Town Hall
King Charles and Queen Camilla. Photo: OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

King Charles and Queen Camilla postponed their visit to France due to increasingly-violent riots across the country.

The visit was under a cloud for several days as protests hit Paris and Bordeaux, where Charles, 74, and Camilla, 75, were scheduled to visit starting Sunday.

The news broke in Paris early Friday via a statement from French President Emmanuel Macron's office at the Elysee Palace. The BBC reported that this followed discussions with the U.K. government.

Buckingham Palace later issued a confirmation that King Charles and Queen Camilla would not be going to France — however, they would continue with their plan to visit Germany later in the week.

"The King and The Queen Consort's State Visit to France has been postponed," the palace said. "Their Majesties greatly look forward to the opportunity to visit France as soon as dates can be found."

King Charles III and Britain's Camilla, Queen Consort attend the Commonwealth Day service ceremony, at Westminster Abbey
Charles and Camilla at Westminster Abbey. JORDAN PETTITT/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The visit to France was due to be the first overseas tour of the King's reign. It was put in doubt earlier this week when thousands of people took to the streets of Paris and elsewhere in France to protest against President Macron's decision to push through legislation raising the French retirement age from 62 to 64 without a vote in Parliament.

Reuters reported that Tuesday marked the sixth night of unrest in the country. Macron, 45, is reportedly eager to "calm things down," the outlet added.

Palace officials said Wednesday that they were monitoring developments closely and taking advice from the U.K.'s Foreign and Commonwealth Office and their French counterparts.

A protester sits on top of a lamp post with a placard that reads "Macron at the service of Black Rock, Black Block at the service of the people" as demonstrators light fires at Place de la Concorde in protest to the French Government pushing their Pension Reform through France's Parliament without a vote after enacting article 49.3 of the constitution, on March 16, 2023 in Paris, France. Labour unions had fought the government's pension reform with months of protests in a bid to stop the age of retirement in France increasing from 62 to 64.
Paris protests. Kiran Ridley/Getty

The royal visit to France had been much-anticipated and involved a glittering state banquet at Chateau de Versailles on the outskirts of Paris. Charles and Camilla were also scheduled to visit Bordeaux in the southwest of France, to tour an organic vineyard.

Despite the cancellation of the French visit, the royals will still visit Germany starting on March 29, palace officials confirmed to PEOPLE on Friday.

This will see the royals visit Berlin, Brandenburg and Hamburg. They will receive a ceremonial welcome from President Steinmeier and Frau Büdenbender at the Brandenburg Gate (the first time any visiting head of state has received such a welcome at the site). The couple will also be guests of honor at a State Banquet, while King Charles will address the federal legislature, the Bundestag.

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Camilla, Queen Consort holds a bouquet of flowers and smiles as she departs the 2023 Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey
Queen Camilla on Monday. Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The Queen Consort and Frau Büdenbender are set to visit the Komische Opera in Berlin to learn more about the company's outreach projects and community engagement. While in Brandenburg, King Charles will meet representatives from a joint German/U.K. military unit and see a demonstration of their bridge-building amphibious vehicles.

It is now the couple's only scheduled trip abroad ahead of Charles and Camilla's May 6 coronation in London.

The tour was planned to "celebrate the U.K.'s relationship with France and Germany, marking our shared histories, culture and values," a palace spokesperson said when the visit was announced earlier this month.

King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort during the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace on November 22, 2022 in London, England. This is the first state visit hosted by the UK with King Charles III as monarch, and the first state visit here by a South African leader since 2010.
King Charles and Queen Camilla. Chris Jackson/Getty

"It is also a chance to look forwards and show the many ways our countries are working in partnership, whether that be to tackle climate change; respond to the conflict in Ukraine; seize trade and investment opportunities or share the best of our arts and culture," the spokesperson continued.

"As well as speaking to the strength of the United Kingdom's bilateral relationships with France and Germany, Their Majesties' visit will include engagements highlighting the importance of sustainability and community — key themes which have been embraced by citizens of all our countries. There will also be opportunities to reflect on the sacrifices and challenges of our shared past, out of which has come an enduring legacy of cooperation and reconciliation," the spokesperson added.

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