Emmanuel Macron's bid to honour Queen Elizabeth II sparks backlash in France: 'We are republican!'

French President Emmanuel Macron’s bid to honour Queen Elizabeth II has not gone down well with some in his home nation

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Mr Macron’s move to honour Queen Elizabeth II has won him plaudits in Britain for its dignified message of friendship.

But his tribute to a foreign monarch has split opinion in France – a nation that hasn’t had a monarchy since the execution of Louis XVI in 1793.

Mr Macron’s decision to fly flags at half-mast in France has sparked a particular outcry.

The move will see the Tricolore flying at half-mast from buildings such as the Elysée Palace from Friday until Queen Elizabeth II's funeral on Monday.

French President Emmanuel Macron paying tribute to Queen Elizabeth II
French President Emmanuel Macron paying tribute to Queen Elizabeth II
Emmanuel Macron signing Queen Elizabeth II's book of condolences
Emmanuel Macron signing Queen Elizabeth II's book of condolences

But this has prompted rebellion from the French left and perhaps most notably from Yann Galut – the socialist mayor of Bourges.

He told French broadcasters: “This request seems incredible to me.

"I respect the sorrow of our English friends but I will not put up the French flag over the municipal buildings of Bourges.

"We are a republican country. Why should I pay tribute to a foreign monarch?"

He added that Mr Macron's measure is "disproportionate" and "too much".

It comes after the French President paid tribute to the late monarch with French and EU flags positioned next to the Union Jack behind him.

He said: "To you, she was your Queen. To us, she was the Queen.

"Elizabeth II mastered our language, loved our culture and touched our hearts.

"From her coronation on, she knew and spoke with all of our presidents.

"No other country had the privilege of welcoming her as many times as we did."

Mr Macron is set to be one of the many world leaders to attend Queen Elizabeth II's funeral on Monday.