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Bernadette Chirac has a flair for the formula! Catherine Nay saw her recount in the second volume of her memoir, Tu sais bien, le temps passe (books), excerpts from which Le Point published on Friday. On these good pages, the political journalist recounts the first months of Jacques Chirac and his wife Bernadette at the Elysée.
It is May 17, 1995. Jacques Chirac is invested in the Lysée as successor to François Mitterrand. Catherine Nay has an appointment with the new first lady Bernadette Chirac, who has just been injured. The reporter reports at the entrance to the palace. “We will take you to his office,” he replies. “The policeman on duty walks in front of me in endless corridors. When I arrive at my destination, I realize that he brought me to Claude Chirac, “recalls Catherine Nay. The reporter then informed him of the misunderstanding before being taken to the correct destination. “I arrived five minutes late and apologized to Ms. Chirac explaining the reasons,” she explains in her book. The First Lady replied, annoyed: “But how did you not know the president was widowed?”
Later, Bernadette Chirac will live another bitter experience of humiliation, such as July 14. That day, the president’s wife was banned from seating for a lunch at the Lysée Palace, which her husband and some 20 young guests attended. A gesture explained to him by Jacques Pilhan, communications advisor to his Jacques Chirac: “For the image that would have made mom and dad welcome their grandchildren, that would have made the president grow old.” Woman of character Bernadette Chirac saw this decision as an “outrage”, so the journalist: “You notice: What nerve this Mr. Pilhan! You see how they all treat me! ” “Her husband passed away in 2019.
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