Friday, 7 February 2014

Mathilde, a first lady at the Elysee Palace

For the first time in weeks, President Francois Hollande had a first lady at his side at the Elysee Palace. Queen Mathilde of the Belgians took a starring role in the official visit to Paris that she paid with husband, King Philippe, on February 6th.  The trip had been booked in way in advance of the decision of President Hollande and his long time partner, Valerie Treiweiler, to separate.  But the end of that relationship in such high profile circumstances meant the Belgian king and queen got a lot of attention on their trip to French capital.

The President of France with a first lady at his side - the King and Queen of the Belgians on their official visit to Paris on February 6th 2014

The king and queen were accompanied by the Belgian Prime Minister, Elio di Rupo, and the visit included talks as well as a tribute to King Albert I of the Belgians.  And there was also a lot of shuffling people around for official photographs and plenty of rain - the Belgian monarchs spent most of their time under umbrellas.  There was a time that visiting first ladies had to do fashion battle with former French first lady, Carla Bruni.  But on this trip Mathilde, in pink, was sure of winning the style wars - the Belgian queen, on her visit, was the only first lady at the Elysee Palace.

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