Jacques Chirac surrounded by Bernadette and Claude, for better and for worse – Gala
On the occasion of the release of his photo book entitled ” Jacques Chirac. Behind the scenes of a destiny ” (Editions La Martinière), Eric Lefeuvre back in Gala on the trio atypical and inseparable trained by Jacques, Bernadette and Claude Chirac.
They were surrounded once more. They have celebrated his eighty-five years, in the rue de Tournon in Paris, in the mansion placed at their disposal by François Pinault, a friend as faithful as steadfast. And it was each in their own way. Bernadette and Claude have devoted their lives to the same man, a husband, a father. “With Jacques Chirac, they form a trio in titanium , “says Eric Leveuvre. “Sometimes they have different between them, not the thickness of a cigarette paper will separate them when it comes to confronting the rest of the world,” adds the photographer.
In 1989, just out of the army, he has seen call for a job interview. He was 23 years old. “They told me :” tomorrow 10am at the town hall “, it became 30 years with Jacques Chirac “, has fun there. Since then, the hunter of images did not stop to photograph the political animal and his clan. Claude was also his first weapons of connecting with his father. “His presence is not negotiable” was immediately added Jacques Chirac at the address of the old grognards of the RPR. At the time, Bernadette Chirac, had also had to bend before the rise to power of his youngest daughter. It had now the ear of his father and was in turn as a source of influence. “She would certainly have dreamed of a life more traditional for her daughter,” admits Eric Lefeuvre. “But Jacques Chirac had it in a blind trust. A single look was enough to understand each other. She has always had a keen sense of the image, ” continues the photographer. (…)
She wanted her footprint remains. After his election to the presidency of the Republic, she told me : “your photos will count in 20 years.” Bernadette did not say anything else to Jacques Chirac, in the car, which led to the Elysee : “Now, he will have to enter in history “, it would have launched. (…)
The mayor of Paris at the Elysée, Eric Lefeuvre has always been able to penetrate the private lives of this trio so secret, that only showed its flaws. “I remember that day when I had accompanied by Bernadette Chirac in Correze. At the last moment it was decided that it would remain one more night on the spot, which was not expected. She was housed in the château de Bity. And as I had nothing to sleep she was worried. I reassured her that I had experienced the worst conditions in the army, but she held to lend me a sweater of her husband who has given me office of pygama. “This access to the privacy of the Chirac – the journalists to have penetrated the precincts of the castle he can be counted on the fingers of one hand – has allowed him to live some scenes comical. Thus, this day, before a dinner of State at the Elysée palace, where mother and daughter are écharpées about an imposing composition porcelain of Soissons, considered old-fashioned by Claude, who decided to remove it away to the table of heads of States. Triggering the wrath of his mother. “In this kind of situation, Jacques Chirac stood aside, without interfere with it, he never liked the conflict,” says Eric Lefeuvre.
The political leader had, in fact, need one or the other. The photographer was there, in the HQ of the candidate, on the evening of the 1st round of the French presidential elections of 2002, when Jacques Chirac was qualified at the same time as… Jean-Marie Le Pen. No one had foreseen that the latter would pass the first round, with the notorious exception of Bernadette Chirac. ” Sitting on a sofa at the side of her husband, she launched : “I told you so James “. I remember the smile full of complicity, he then has him sent “. (…)
You can watch the full this article in Gala on newsstands this week.
Credits photos : Bestimage
Jacques Chirac,Bernadette Chirac
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