Le Kiosque 24 July 2013
Le Canard Enchainé has discovered that, despite President François Hollande’s strenuous efforts to keep them interested, the French are quite bored with their Republic. Or maybe they’re just bored with him. The president has invited journalists to dine with him; he’s paid a friendly visit to the aging ex-President Jacques Chirac; he’s assured everyone that, despite what they may believe, economic recovery has begun! But the French, or at least the French media, would really rather focus on the monarchies next door. Never mind that a couple of centuries ago France’s crowned heads were toppled by Dr. Guillotin’s machine, these days you’d think the French public was plus royaliste que le roi.
To the north, when the king of Belgium, Albert II, abdicated for his son Philippe I, the new king’s simple kiss on his wife’s cheek set the French press aglow. To the south, Monaco’s gorgeous Princess Charlotte — daughter of Princes Caroline; granddaughter of Princess Grace (Kelly) – reportedly is pregnant, and the father reportedly is France’s beloved comedian Gad Elmaleh. (Who? You can see him here driving around New York City in a 1950 Citroën 2CV with Jerry Seinfeld on the Web series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.”) Of course, the really BIG event was across La Manche: the birth of the Royal Baby in the United Kingdom. The third in line to the throne is much more interesting to the French than, say, Nicolas Sarkozy trying to take back his palace, or Mr. Hollande trying to hold onto it. One of Le Canard’s cartoons shows Hollande suggesting to his companion Valérie Trierweiler: “Valérie, why don’t we make a royal baby?” Not so easy in the Fifth Republic.
— Solène Cressant