A top hotel in the town of Amiens in northern France has rejected a room reservation for Prince William and the royal entourage. The Prince, the Duchess of Cambridge and brother Harry had tried to book four rooms at the city’s five-star boutique establishment Hotel Marotte.
The royals are due to attend ceremonies to commemorate the centenary of the WWI Battle of the Somme at the end of June. Amiens is the stage for the bulk of the events associated with the Somme and Picardie battles which claimed the lives of more than one million soldiers. On 1 July 1916, almost 60,000 mostly British soldiers were killed in one single day.
The commemorative events are scheduled for 30 June and 1 July 2016. An insider close to the Marotte’s management said the royal party had tried to make reservations for two nights. The hotel is the sole five-star option in Amiens. Locals said tongue in cheek that the royal party might have to book accommodation with Airbnb.
Commenting on declining the booking, l’Marotte owner Olivier Walt said the French Foreign Ministry had made the initial enquiry but he had to say no as all the rooms and suites were booked for the days in question. He noted that it would have been unfair to cancel confirmed reservations just to accommodate the royal family.
Local authorities in Amiens say they expect up to 30,000 visitors to descend on the Picardie region for the remembrance services. A spokesperson noted that a high proportion of the accommodation from the cheapest bed and breakfast to the €350 (£270) a night Marotte has already been booked.