Emmanuel Macron in front of neutral background (l) Hall of Mirrors in the palace of Versailles, France (c) King Charles III (r)

Frederic Legrand – COMEO/Shutterstock Heide Pinkall/Shutterstock Mister_Knight/Shutterstock (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

French president’s Versailles dinner with King Charles III blasted for extravagance

‘That vaguely reminds me of a little story.’

 

Marlon Ettinger

Tech

A dinner for Britain’s King Charles III planned for Wednesday at the Palace of Versailles is facing mockery and anger on social media, with X posters comparing French President Emmanuel Macron to France’s own ill-fated monarchy.

“While the price of everything is going up, and people are hungrier and hungrier,” X user @LesInsurges_ wrote in French above a picture of Macron’s face Photoshopped into a painting of Louis XVI, France’s last king. “Should we invite ourselves to dine?”

“A king in Versailles while the people are suffering from rising food prices… that vaguely reminds me of a little story ;)” commented @Kl27543505, also in French.

Leading up to the French Revolution in 1789, the cost of bread in France made up between 60 to 80% of the budget of the average wage earner, according to the historian Olwen Hufton. Since 2020, the price of bread has risen by almost 18%, rice by 28%, flour by 34%, and pasta by almost 37%, Le Monde reports

The Palace of Versailles, where Macron’s state dinner is being held, is the former residence of France’s monarchy until it was deposed after the revolution.

User @Nini_MacBright jokingly referred to Macron as a “king” in a picture of the president shaking Charles III’s hand.

https://twitter.com/Nini_MacBright/status/1704201531346632907

Macron, who once said that the French people “fundamentally” didn’t want their king to be dead and compared himself to Jupiter, the Roman king of gods, has long been mocked for his regal style and ambitions.

“The king of France is receiving his British counterpart Charles III on September 20th at the royal residence of Versailles,” @realmarcel1 said, in French, of a photo of Macron in a grand chair. “It would be too bad if the two monarchs ran into each other…”

Charles’ trip was supposed to take place six months ago, but that trip was canceled due to security concerns because of large, sometimes violent, protests against raising France’s retirement age.

Some French posters questioned the timing of the dinner.

“Emmanuel Macron will dine with King Charles III at Versailles castle on the 20th of September,” wrote the populist pundit Alexis Poulin in French. “I repeat, Emmanuel Macron will eat with King Charles III at Versailles castle on September 20th. September 20th. Versailles.”

On Sept. 20, 1792, the French Revolutionary Army won the Battle of Valmy against an invading Prussian army. The victory was considered a pivotal moment for the French Revolution and a turning point in the Republic’s consolidation. 

The next day, the monarchy was officially abolished, and the French Republic was proclaimed.

“Will the populace be excluded?” @sistadunet asked rhetorically of the Versaille dinner.

“Obviously over 15 kilometers around with 3500 riot police,” said @LukasKidou.

Other posters were angry that the government would pay for a fancy dinner while people were going hungry in France.

“In the midst of a period of recession and inflation, a resurgence of precarity and poverty, King Macron has showed that he knows perfectly well how to use our taxes to received the King Charles III, his Queen Consort, and numerous guests to his castle,” said @haasoliviercha1, in French. 

“Who’s going to pay?” asked @FilFrance.

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