The Royal Family and their aides are understood to have requested four suites for two nights between 30 June and 1 July at the only five – star hotel near the battlefields, according to French newspaper Courrier Picard.
The hotel’s manager, Oliver Walti, told the paper they were contacted by the French Foreign Ministry in January about the suites, but were unable to accept the offer. “The Foreign Ministry has contacted us in January to see if we were able to accommodate the Royal Family on the occasion of the Somme commemorations, but We had to decline the offer, it is impossible, we are already booked solid. We could not tell people who have booked with us for months and who have already paid for their stay, sorry, but the Royal Family is coming, we will have to cancel. It’s just unthinkable ethically.” said Mr Walti.
Estelle Walti, who runs the hotel with her husband, told “We’ve been booked up for this period for a month, so unfortunately we couldn’t help them. It’s not because we didn’t want the Royals here. it’s just that we weren’t going to let other customers down.”