Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Sarkozy comes to Britain

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is in the UK today. He'll be chatting to Gordon Brown, addressing both Houses of Parliament, and most importantly of all, he'll be meeting the Queen.

This is quite an important visit for the French premier. Back in the Hexagone, detractors accuse him of lacking gravitas, so this is an key opportunity for him to play the dignified statesman abroad.

Of course, there's nothing more dignified than being photographed with the British Royal Family. Ever since the French guillotined their own royals, ours have held a special fascination for them. Sarko will be keen to put on a good performance, and really impress Her Majesty.

Incredibly for a European head of state, Sarko's English isn't really up to scratch. He's apparently been practising it intensively over the past few weeks, so he has something to say to the Queen when he meets her. (She does, however, speak fluent French!)

I wonder if Sarko's language skills will be as impressive as this fellow's:

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

eDo we really think Presidents of Republics enjoy being entertained by our Monarchy? Does the British establishment know anything about the history of France? And we wonder why Sarkozy does not want to stay here for more than a few days.

Sam Tarran said...

That is quite surprising that he can't speak very good English. But seeing as he's of Hungarian descent, is French his second language?

Sam Tarran said...

And in response to annoymous, why should presidents of republics enjoy being entertained by a monarchy less than by another republic? What's more, I'm puzzled by your comment on the "British establishment". Taking it for what I think you mean, why should the "establishment" need to know anything about French history? They barely understand their own nation's past. Do you think the French "establishment" know anything about British history?

Think before you type.

Jonny Wright said...

Sam - Sarkozy was born in Paris, and I assume French would have been his first language. His father was Hungarian, but his mother was French, and it was his mother who brought him up - his father left the family when Sarkozy was a child.

I also agree with your second post. The Queen is our Head of State, and entertaining foreign Heads of State is part of her job - other democratic countries respect our system of government just as much as we respect theirs.

Bear in mind also that when the French got rid of their totalitarian monarchy, ours was well along the road to a constitutional monarchy. That probably explains why our system survived and theirs didn't.

If you can find it online, watch Sarkozy's speech to Parliament. Watch out for his comments on our monarchy.

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