LONDON, March 24 (AP) — King Charles III’s first state visit as monarch was scaled back Friday, dashing hopes that his mother’s 70-year reign’s triumphant tour would win hearts and minds abroad.
A visit to France by Charles and his wife Camilla has been postponed amid mass protests over President Emmanuel Macron’s plans to reform the pension system. The trip to Germany will go ahead as planned.
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Charles had originally planned to visit France and Germany, the EU’s two largest countries, with the aim of rebuilding relations with Britain’s nearest neighbor six years after the Brexit row. But troubles at home in France put all that in vain.
“The King and Queen’s state visit to France has been postponed,” the Prime Minister’s Downing Street office said in a statement.
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“The decision was taken by agreement after the French president asked the British government to postpone the visit.”
Buckingham Palace said another date would be found.
“Their Majesties very much look forward to the opportunity to visit France as soon as the date is confirmed,” the palace said in a statement.
French unions have called for a national day of protests and strikes on Tuesday to protest Macron’s proposal to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64. On that day, the king was due to travel to the western city of Bordeaux, and with a lot of security and ceremony, the protests would complicate his travels.
Charles and Camilla will begin their first state visit to Germany on Wednesday, with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier welcoming them with military honors at Berlin’s landmark Brandenburg Gate.
On Thursday, the British king will address the Bundestag, meet German Chancellor Olaf Schulz and speak to Ukrainian refugees and the military.
He will travel to Hamburg on Friday to visit the Kindertransport memorial, commemorating Jewish children who fled Germany to Britain during the Third Reich, and attend a green energy event before returning to Britain in the evening. (Associated Press)
(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the body of content may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)