Prince Albert II of Monaco and Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg were among the leaders paying their tributes to the former President of France, Jacques Chirac, at his funeral in Paris today. The Earl of Wessex and Prince Joachim and Princess Marie of Denmark were also among the mourners at the service which took place at Saint-Sulpice Church.
Joachim and Marie were representing his mother, Queen Margrethe II, at the service which was attended by leaders past and present from around the world. Among the first to arrive was the Farah, former Empress of Iran. Crown Prince Moulay El Hassan of Morocco was also among the guests. Jean, Count of Paris, a claimant to the French throne, was one of the first to take his place at the church.
The day of Jacques Chirac’s funeral, September 30th 2019, has been declared a day of national mourning in France. On Sunday September 29th, thousands of people queued in the rain to be able to pay their own respects to the former president as his coffin lay in state at Les Invalides in the French capital. His daughter, Claude Chirac, spent some time greeting many of those who had come to pay tribute to her father.
Jacques Chirac died on September 26th. He was 86 years old. As well as his two terms as President of France, Chirac was also his country’s Prime Minister twice and a high profile Mayor of Paris. Obituaries highlighted his role in taking France into the Euro and his opposition to the US led war in Iraq in 2003. His 2011 conviction for diverting public funds while Mayor of Paris cast a shadow over his legacy. However, a poll taken soon after his death found him to be considered France’s greatest post war president alongside Charles de Gaulle.