Burning French flags and effigies of President François Hollande, protesters chanted ‘There is no Queen but Elizabeth’ and threw bricks through the windows of nearby crêperies and charcuteries.
The monarchists were incensed by pictures that had appeared in the French magazine ‘Closeur’ which defamed the Duchess, revered by many in the UK as ‘such a nice girl’.
Said one protester, ‘The French government claims it can’t stop the publication of the pictures because of ‘freedom of speech’, when it’s clear that the whole thing’s a perfidious plot to desecrate the ancient and outmoded system of beliefs that we English hold dear.’ He then continued stamping on an assortment of croissants and warm patisseries, while others poured a rather special 1990 Chateau Margaux down the drain.
There have also been reports of demonstrations outside French missions in other monarchist nations, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand and The Solomon Islands.
The protests began peacefully, but around nightfall a number of extremist monarchists reportedly joined the fray. Armed with hundreds of years of tradition and a sense of fair play, they set about breaching the embassy’s defences. Gendarmes on duty inside the building initially repelled those attempting to scale the walls, but it wasn’t long before they surrendered.