Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Last Friday saw the 70th anniversary of General de Gaulle’s first speech via the BBC to the newly occupied French people urging Frenchmen to join him in resistance to Hitler and the Vichy government. It is quite ironic that very few French people actually heard the broadcast, and those that did, hadn’t a clue who he was. Indeed some cynics thought, with a name like de Gaulle, he was a pseudo Frenchman invented by the British government in an attempt to stir up French national fervour. As if we would! Well, not for nothing did the French refer to us as ‘perfidious Albion’.
Strangely, for no-one having heard him, and the BBC not having thought it important enough to save the original broadcast, every word of it can be recalled. So much so, the opening paragraph is engraved on the war memorial of our nearest market town. Oh well, it’s always said a prophet is never recognized in his own country!
Anyway the old boy got plenty of mileage last week. Nicolas arrived in London with medals to award to veterans now in their nineties (better late than never one might say) plenty of kepi-wearing military attachés, and of course Carla.
Oh dear, Mlle. Bruni should really come with a health warning – to other leader’s wives. They should be briefed on the multitude of tricks the French First Lady has up her model’s sleeve, and make sure they never stand next to her for a photo shoot.
Pity poor old Samantha Cameron. Being five months pregnant is tricky. The bump is too big not to be noticed and too small to be in the beautiful full bloom of late pregnancy. She’s sort of at that lumpy stage, and she hasn’t a clue what to do with her hands. There’s not enough there to rest her arms on top of the bump, so she clasps them underneath it, like she’s afraid it’s going to fall off. Someone give her a handbag, for heavens sake. But you have to have some sympathy for her Anyone who’s five months pregnant, and new to the job of consort to the Prime Minister, would rather die than be photographed beside someone as media-savvy as Carla Bruni.
World leader’s spouses must dread the words ‘The French President is making an official visit and he’s bringing his wife with him.’ Except Michelle Obama. As she’s about 8 feet tall, and built like an Olympic sprinter, she can well hold her own with Carla, as is proved in the photo taken on a visit to the White House; in fact Mrs. Obama makes Carla look quite washed out. Anyone but the American First Lady might as well abandon all hope of looking chic
I’ve noticed Carla is nowhere to be seen when hubby is meeting Angela Merkel …. is this a coincidence, or some smart maneuvering on the part of the German Chancellor? Maybe she arranges for her to be accidentally locked in the loo when the official photographer arrives. She’s no fool, is Angela. She’s also, bless her, incredibly dumpy so she knows the score.
Mrs. S was up to all her old tricks in London. She, like the late Princess of Wales, can hear the click of a camera shutter at 300 yards and that’s when ‘model’ mode kicks in, well old habits die hard. So there she was, tossing her mane and skittering about like the winner of the 2.30 at Epsom. The pout, the flick of the hair, the flutter of the eyelashes, I’d have loved to have seen her and Lady Diana sharing the same platform. Wonder who would have won? I think my money might have been on Lady Di. Prince Charles, minus Camilla (had she been forewarned?) seemed to be reduced to a pink-flushed jelly when faced with Carla’s performance, but the Boy David, to his credit, ignored La Bruni’s shenanigans, preferring to put an protective arm round Samantha, who looked as if she would rather have been having an enema in the delivery room than posing in the doorway of number 10.
What Madame de Gaulle would have made of it all I’ve no idea, but I’ll bet it had the old general spinning in his grave.