The prospect of the beleaguered Mr Macron dining alongside the royals at a lavish black-tie banquet at the Palace of Versailles amid the escalating revolt had become increasingly untenable. Commentators suggested that it would have been the president’s “Marie Antoinette moment”.
Elysée sources are understood to have had concerns over the Palace’s links to the revolt against Louis XVI, who was beheaded.
In one incident in Paris, graffiti was daubed on a wall reading: “Charles III do you know the guillotine?”
French intelligence reports warned that the royal tour would be targeted by protesters, suggesting that the King’s safety could not be guaranteed.
A leaked intelligence note warned that militants saw Mr Macron’s televised address last Wednesday, in which he stood by his pension reform, as an “act of war”.
The decision to postpone the tour, which was made by the French and British governments, was relayed to the King by Mr Macron in a “very cordial and constructive” telephone conversation on Friday morning.
The monarch had been widely expected to make the Commonwealth his priority after acceding to the throne, so a first overseas visit to France was considered particularly significant.
The King is known to believe Britain should keep Europe close. He courted controversy last month for meeting Ursula von der Leyen, the EU Commission President, at Windsor Castle on the day that Rishi Sunak’s new deal with Brussels was agreed.
Mr Macron is also considered key to the success of the Prime Minister’s priority of tackling immigration.
The Government is set to make another key move in its mission to end the flow of small boats across the Channel next week, announcing that migrants will be removed from hotels and relocated to military bases, with plans to also use ferries.