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King Charles banquet at Versailles set to be moved because of threats of violence

File picture of Emmanuel Macron with King Charles  in 2020  (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
File picture of Emmanuel Macron with King Charles in 2020 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

A lavish banquet planned for King Charles at the Palace of Versailles as the “highlight” of his State Visit to France is set to be moved because of threats of violence.

An aide to President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday told the BFM news channel – the most popular in France – that widespread rioting made the engagement too risky.

Protesters have been fighting battles with police for the past week following Mr Macron’s decision to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 without a parliamentary vote.

The presidential source said: “The dinner between Charles III and Emmanuel Macron, planned for Monday, may not be held at Versailles, as initially planned”.

Organisers “plan to hold it somewhere else,” with the Elysée Palace in central Paris a likely replacement.

The event at Versailles was meant to be the glittering highlight of the State Visit – Charles’s first as monarch.

Riot police clash with protesters in Paris amid anger at Macron forcing through unpopular pension reforms

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The King and Camilla, the Queen Consort were set to arrive at the ancient palace on Monday evening to join 200 handpicked guests being hosted by Mr Macron and his wife, Brigitte.

A concert was to be held in the Royal Chapel, and then dinner would have been served on Duplessis porcelain plates made during the reign of Louis XV.

But demonstrators including opposition politicians have accused Mr Macron of being completely out of touch with the lives of ordinary people.

“It’s amazing,” said MP Sandrine Rousseau. “We are going to have Emmanuel Macron, the Republican monarch meeting Charles III while people in the street are demonstrating.

“Can this really be happening? This is an incredible denial of democracy.

“Something is happening in this country – is the priority really to receive Charles III at Versailles?”

Versailles – west of Paris – is where Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, France’s last proper king and queen, lived before being guillotined at the height of the 1789 Revolution.

The palace, which was built by the Sun King, Louis XIV, still represents the fabulous wealth and privilege of France’s pre-revolutionary Royals.

A pedestrian walks mounds of uncollected rubbish in Paris (AFP via Getty Images)
A pedestrian walks mounds of uncollected rubbish in Paris (AFP via Getty Images)

Beyond riots, anti-Macron protests in France have included some 10,000 tonnes of rubbish building up on the streets of Paris after binmen withdrew their labour.

A Buckingham Palace source said the situation in France ”was being monitored,” but there were no immediate plans to cancel the trip, which starts on Sunday