There is a right royal row on the Cote d’Azur.
The King of Saudi Arabia has arrived for a three-week visit to his villa in Vallauris, and despite objections from locals a nearby beach remains sealed off from the public.
Authorities say it is for reasons of privacy and security, but a petition of 125,000 residents says a public beach should not be made private, not even for a king.
Jean-Noel Falcou, a city councillor and petition organiser, said: “What we’ve seen is a big mobilisation, which shows that it’s not simply a local problem.
“It touches something very profound, which goes way beyond Vallauris; it’s about equal rights for citizens in the face of the law, and respecting legislation that keeps coastlines open to the public.”
The Saudi King will stay at his villa near the closed-off Mirandole beach until August the 20th, along with an entourage of hundreds staying in local hotels.
Some of those speaking out in support of the beach closure argue that the king and his entourage will spend huge amounts during the stay, a boon for the local economy.