As Europe’s Mediterranean region bakes under the rays of an inordinately hot summer sun, French authorities have taken the rather unusual step of closing the small public beach of Vallauris, a charming little town on the French Riviera. The reason has enraged many local residents: the village is expecting a visit from the Saudi King, Salmán Bin Abdelaziz, who owns an enormous mansion overlooking the beach. And Salmán and his entourage do not want to share the sand with the locals. Local authorities cite “security reasons” for erecting metal fences to prevent the public from accessing not only the beach but also a tunnel under the railway line connecting the town with the coastline. According to the sub-prefect of the Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur region, Philippe Castanet, the closure of the public beach was necessary to avoid putting at risk the head of state of “a country at war,” suggesting that the more bellicose the state, the more special privileges its head of state can expect to receive during a visit to 21st century France.