King Charles and Camilla had been due in Paris from Sunday but chaotic scenes across the country have prompted them to halt their trip.
The widespread violent protests are happening over French President Emmanuel Macron’s retirement age reforms, per the Mirror.
The mass protests were sparked by President Macron raising the retirement age from 62 to 64 without a parliamentary vote. The nationwide demonstrations have led to hundreds of arrests and police officers being injured.
Former head of Royal Protection Dai Davies said scrapping the visit was an unprecedented move.
“I’ve never heard of it before,” he told the Mirror. “In the 50 years I’ve been involved I can’t think of a visit being cancelled but I think it’s the right decision if the safety could and would have been compromised. These things are not done lightly and clearly, it’s an embarrassment to France.”
However, the rescheduling of the Paris trip comes after a rocky few months Charles had to endure since his ascension to the throne. From several egg-throwing incidents to his strained relationship exposed by estranged son, Prince Harry in his explosive memoir, Spare, the scrapped France trip does not bode well for the monarch.
Royal historian and author Dr Tessa Dunlop told the Mirror that the trip’s postponement is “a blow for the new King.” She added that there was no other option but to shelve the state visit due to “terrible optics.”
“With the upheaval showing no sign of stopping it was only a matter of time before Emmanuel Macron postponed King Charles'’ first state visit. The optics would have been terrible for both parties,” she told the outlet.
“Amid riots against his efforts to raise the pensionable age to 64, the last thing the French President needed was another security hazard, especially in the form of a 74-year-old working King from a country where the retirement age has already been raised to a hardcore 68 for future generations.”
Dunlop surmised, “As for Charles, after a turbulent first few months as monarch thanks to Prince Harry’s verbal protests and a few frenzied egg throwers in Britain, he was not in the market for a French upgrade to tear gas, water cannon and cobblestones. But the trip’s postponement is a blow for the new King.”