The brouhaha over the love triangle between French president Francois Hollande, French first girlfriendValerie Trierweiler & French actress Julie Gayet has just proved once again that history repeats itself.
This isn't the first time that promiscuity the Elysee. French history reveals that presidential infidelity is with several French presidents. Well it seems like French politicians have a problem with keeping their pants on.
The list of French royal mistresses goes back to King Clovis I in the sixth century, but among the most celebrated and influential were Diane de Poitier, Henri II's courtesan, and Madame de Pompadour, official chief mistress of Louis XIV.
In the 17th century, Louis XIV transferred his affections from Madame de Montespan (his mistress of 13 years) to Madame de Maintenon (governess for the children of Mme de Montespan and the King). Louis XIV granted her the title of “Marquise de Maintenon”. In 1682, she was given the title of “dame d’atour” (lady-in-waiting) of the Dauphine. She married the King after the death of his wife Queen Maria Theresa of Austria in 1683.
Félix Faure, French president from 1895-1899, who died during extra-marital sex, right in the Élysée palace while with his mistress, Marguerite Steinheil, but who still had a Paris metro station named after him.
Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, president from 1974-81, was rumoured to have as many mistresses as Paris has salons. In the infamous "Milk lorry" case of September 1974, d'Estaing was at the wheel of a borrowed Ferrari driving through Paris with a mysterious woman in the passenger seat, when he pranged it in a collision with a milk lorry at 5am. The woman's identity has never been confirmed, but she was rumoured to be a famous French actress.
For many years, the last Socialist president of France, François Mitterrand, led a double life with his wife, Danielle, and lover, Anne Pingeot, with whom he had a daughter, Mazarine. Although the existence of Mitterrand's second family was an open secret, nothing was ever published until Paris Match obtained photos of Mazarine, then aged 20, and got the president's permission to publish them.
Le chauffeur de Jacques Chirac revealed the he drove the president to assignations and described him as "Monsieur 15 minutes, shower included". His multiple affairs were done more discreetly, as he wrote in his memoires; admitting he had loved several women, despite that his wife of 58 years certainly has suffered in silence.
Nicolas Sarkozy, whose glamorous wife, Cecilia, left him for another man while he was still campaigning to become President, responded by being closely linked to the newspaper journalist Anne Fulda and television anchor Laurence Ferrari, before immediately marrying former supermodel & a French Italian singer. Sarkozy became the first president to marry while in office when he wedded Carla Bruni.
François Holland came into the presidential election with public knowledge that he had left his never married partner Ségolène Royal, after 30 years together and 4 children. One month after she lost the presidential campaign to Sarkozy, they separated. He reportedly had started the relationship with Valerie Trierweiler during her compaign.
Although a lot of people believe thatthe French have normalised infidelity throughout history this isn't through. Au contraire, they hate infidelity, the hurt, pain and emrrassement that comes with it. Divorce rates has shown that... unlike Nigerian women who tolerate infidelty, the French pull out a read card. The one who is hurt keeps the children away from the unfaithful one as revenge.