LONDON (AP) — King Charles III and Queen Camilla will visit France in September, Buckingham Palace said Thursday, after their planned state visit in March was postponed amid widespread demonstrations against President Emmanuel Macron’s retirement age reforms.
The couple had planned to tour Paris and Bordeaux in March as part of their debut on the world stage as monarch and queen consort. But the trip was shelved after violent nationwide protests rocked France, and Germany, which was originally intended to be the second leg of the journey, became the royals’ first destination instead.
Palace officials say a state visit to France will now take place from Sept. 20 to 22.
“The visit will celebrate the shared history, culture and values of the United Kingdom and France,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.
Macron said he had asked for the March state visit to be delayed out of “common sense and friendship” because of the risks of violent protests.
While Charles and Camilla still made it to Germany, decoupling the two visits diluted one of the original goals of the trip — highlighting the British government’s efforts to improve relations with the European Union after six years of squabbling over Brexit.
The program for the September state visit is expected to remain broadly similar to events planned for the original trip, with Macron expected to host a state banquet in honor of his guests.
Charles, 74, ascended the throne after the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September. He was crowned king in a lavish ceremony in May.