LE FIGARO (France)
PARIS - The French political etiquette is about to be put to the test: for the first time in France's history, the incoming President is unmarried.
François Hollande's personal history is well known: he was together for decades with fellow Socialist party leader Ségolène Royal (who lost to Nicolas Sarkozy in the race for the presidency in 2007); the power couple had four children, but never married, and eventually split. For the last few years, Hollande has been living with political journalist Valérie Trierweiler, but once again hasn't put a ring on it.
So how should we refer to the President of the Republic's live-in partner? Simply: "Madame Valérie Trierweiler, partner of the President," or "Première Dame"? Maybe one day she will become "Madame François Hollande" but the incoming President recently declared: "It's not something that has to be done only because I became President," Le Figaro reports.
For the time being, as far as the rest of the protocol, France is waiting for the person directly concerned to come forth. The G8 summit is planned for May 18, and the American organizers will need to know if A) she will be accompanying Hollande. B) What to call her.
Their marital status will not be a problem in a majority of nation-states, except for one: the Vatican. If Trierweiler asks for a meeting with the Pope, it will certainly be refused. When former French President Jacques Chirac was given an audience with the pope, his daughter wasn't allowed to come because she didn't want to say who was the father of the child she was carrying.
Read the original article in French