Prince Charles' office denies D-Day village snub

20th May 2014, Comments 0 comments

Prince Charles' spokeswoman on Tuesday denied he had cancelled a visit to a French village during D-Day commemorations, a decision which has left the mayor outraged.

The Normandy village of Merville, where British parachutists fought an epic battle in 1944, is in uproar over the perceived snub and mayor Olivier Paz intends to deliver a letter of protest to Charles at his official London residence.

"(The visit) was never formally on the programme," a spokeswoman for the prince's office, Clarence House, told AFP.

Charles, the heir to the throne, is colonel-in-chief of the Parachute Regiment and with his wife Camilla will be attending five events related to the regiment on June 5.

Merville features on the regiment's 'Battle Honours' -- the list of battle sites emblazoned on the regiment's colours -- but it is not included in the programme.

However, the spokeswoman pointed out that one of the events Prince Charles was hosting was a lunch at Ranville, to which all the Normandy regiment veterans were invited.

"This includes those who fought at the Merville battery," she said. "All the local mayors have been invited, and that includes the mayor of Merville."

The prince's programme had been drawn up in consultation with various veteran organisations and regiments including the Parachute Regiment, she added.

The mayor of Merville, Olivier Paz, told AFP that he "blew a fuse" when he learnt Charles was not visiting his village and intended to deliver a petition of protest to London on Wednesday.

The prince's spokeswoman said that any petition would be received but said he was currently in Canada. She added that the palace viewed any correspondence as private.

© 2014 AFP

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