France abaya ban: Macron accused of 'double standards' for dresses during British royal visit
French President Emmanuel Macron has been accused of double standards after social media users pointed out the similarities between the long evening gowns worn by Queen Camilla and French First Lady Brigitte Macron at a state banquet to abayas worn by Muslim women.
Britain's King Charles III and his consort are visiting France amid a recently imposed ban on the full-length robe worn by many Muslim children and teenagers in French public schools.
"Oh Camilla and Brigitte are wearing abayas… Yes that’s fine," said one user on the social platform X, formerly known as Twitter. "Only our young Muslim sisters are targeted and deprived from education and social activities!"
Charles III and his wife Camilla arrived in France on Wednesday for an official visit. They were welcomed in Paris by President Macron and his wife.
The appearance of the women in apparently "modest" clothing had social media users questioning whether the ban had anything other than targeting Muslim women in mind.
One X user mockingly asked which model of the dresses people preferred, adding: “Personally, I wear the Brigitte Macron model in everyday life and the Camilla model for events between women.”
Another person pointed out that "Brigitte [is] covered up to her neck.. Camilla [is] dressed in a caftan.. but our little sisters cannot go to school in an abaya."
In August, France’s Education Minister Gabriel Attal announced ahead of the start of the new academic year that the state would ban Muslim students from wearing the abaya, the latest in a string of decisions over the past two decades targeting the dress and religious practice of Muslim women.
Translation: "But the king's wife wears an abaya it should also be banned at the Elysee"
In April 2011, France adopted a ban on full-face veils in public areas, the first European country to do so.
Headscarves are banned in schools and government buildings. Public officials - including teachers, firefighters or police officers - are barred from wearing a headscarf at work.
This summer, the country's top administrative court upheld a decision of the French Football Federation to ban the hijab in official matches and competitions, a policy widely criticised by human and women's rights advocates as racist, discriminatory and a hindrance to gender equity in the sport.
This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.