Coronavirus: ex-French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing dies at the age of 94

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Former French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing, who allegedly had an affair with Princess Diana, died of coronavirus at the age of 94 – just six months after allegations of sexual assault were made made against him.

He was admitted to the Georges Pompidou hospital in Paris in September because of a “slight infection of the lungs”, according to radio Europe 1, before dying in a cardiology department in Tours.

The family then confirmed in a statement that “Mr. Giscard d’Estaing’s state of health had worsened and that he had died of Covid-19”, adding that his funeral would be a very private event.

Commonly known as Giscard, or VGE, he was head of state between 1974 and 1981, and was best known in the UK for having an alleged affair with Diana after they met through formal arrangements. and charities.

Born in 1926, Mr. Giscard d’Estaing served in the Free French Army which helped liberate France during World War II and was appointed Minister of Finance by Charles de Gaulle at just 36 years old.

French leader from 1974 to 1981, Mr. Giscard d’Estaing presided over a modernization of French society, allowing divorce by mutual consent, legalizing abortion and lowering the voting age to 18 from the age of 21. As a Europhile, he helped forge a unique Europe together with his ally, German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt.

The former head of state made one of his last public appearances on September 30 during the funeral of another former president, Jacques Chirac, who had been his prime minister.

In May, Mr Giscard d’Estaing was accused of having intimately and without his consent touching Ann-Kathrin Stracke, a 37-year-old journalist with the German public broadcaster WDR. Ms Stracke had waived her right to anonymity in reporting the sexual assault complaint, which was made to prosecutors in Paris in March.

In turn, a spokesperson for Mr. Giscard d’Estaing said he had “no recollection of his meeting” with Ms. Stracke. It was on December 18, 2018 that Ms. Stracke had an appointment with the retired politician in his office in central Paris.

The interview was on the 100th anniversary of the birth of former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, who was a world leader at the same time as Mr. Giscard d’Estaing.

Former French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing, who is believed to have had an affair with Princess Diana, has died at the age of 94. He was admitted to the Georges Pompidou hospital in Paris in September because of a “slight lung infection. , ‘according to radio Europe 1, before dying in a cardiology department in Tours

Commonly known as Giscard, or VGE, he was Head of State between 1974 and 1981, and he was best known in the UK for having an alleged affair with Princess Diana after they met as part of official and charitable arrangements.

Commonly known as Giscard, or VGE, he was Head of State between 1974 and 1981, and he was best known in the UK for having an alleged affair with Princess Diana after they met in connection with official and charitable arrangements.

Commonly known as Giscard, or VGE, he was Head of State between 1974 and 1981, and he was best known in the UK for having an alleged affair with Princess Diana after they met as part of official and charitable arrangements.

Ruler of France from 1974 to 1981, Mr. Giscard d'Estaing presided over a modernization of French society, allowing divorce by mutual consent, legalizing abortion and lowering the voting age to 18 from 21 years.

Ruler of France from 1974 to 1981, Mr. Giscard d'Estaing presided over a modernization of French society, allowing divorce by mutual consent, legalizing abortion and lowering the voting age to 18 from 21 years.

Ruler of France from 1974 to 1981, Mr. Giscard d’Estaing presided over a modernization of French society, allowing divorce by mutual consent, legalizing abortion and lowering the voting age to 18 from 21 years.

Valery Giscard d'Estaing meets his socialist successor François Mitterrand in 1981

Valery Giscard d'Estaing meets his socialist successor François Mitterrand in 1981

Valery Giscard d’Estaing meets his socialist successor François Mitterrand in 1981

Valery Giscard d'Estaing gives a speech at the fifth conference of the `` Republican Party '' party in Vincennes in June 1982

Valery Giscard d'Estaing gives a speech at the fifth conference of the `` Republican Party '' party in Vincennes in June 1982

Valery Giscard d’Estaing delivers a speech at the fifth conference of the “Republican Party” in Vincennes in June 1982

Mr Giscard d’Estaing is famous in the UK for his alleged affair with Princess Diana. After becoming a global celebrity, the couple are said to have become close after meeting during official and charitable engagements.

In 2009, Mr. Giscard d’Estaing wrote a romance novel entitled “The Princess and the President”. It was an affair between a French president and a thinly veiled British royal – Patricia, Princess of Cardiff or “Lady Pat”.

At the time, there was intense speculation in the French media that Mr. Giscard d’Estaing was describing a date with Princess Diana in the 1980s. Mr. Giscard d’Estaing was in office in 1981, when Diana married Prince Charles, and they have met regularly on official and charitable engagements.

The epigraph to the novel said “Promise kept”, and at the end Patricia said: “You asked my permission to write your story. I grant it to you, but you must make me a promise… ”Mr. Giscard d’Estaing had said that if Diana was the inspiration behind the book, the story itself was pure fiction.

“We were talking about love affairs between the leaders of the great countries and she said to me ‘why don’t you write a book about it?’ ‘Mr. Giscard d’Estaing told Le Point magazine about a conversation he had with Diana.

In Europe, he forged close relations with former West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt and together they laid the foundations for the single euro currency, establishing the European monetary system.

Mr. Giscard d’Estaing sought to project the image of a young modern president, closer to the people than his predecessors, inviting himself to dinner with ordinary people and playing the accordion.

But the global economic slowdown of the 1970s and his perceived arrogance that rubbed many French voters the wrong way contributed to his loss of his candidacy for re-election to socialist Francois Mitterrand.

Valery Giscard d'Estaing, then president of the Center-Right Union for French Democracy (UDF) and former French President, speaking at a rally in support of the ratification of the Maastricht Treaty on European Union in Vincennes in 2017

Valery Giscard d'Estaing, then president of the Center-Right Union for French Democracy (UDF) and former French President, speaking at a rally in support of the ratification of the Maastricht Treaty on European Union in Vincennes in 2017

Valery Giscard d’Estaing, then president of the Center-Right Union for French Democracy (UDF) and former French President, speaking at a rally in support of the ratification of the Maastricht Treaty on European Union in Vincennes in 2017

French PM Raymond Barre met Valery Giscard d'Estaing at the Elysée Palace in 1981

French PM Raymond Barre met Valery Giscard d'Estaing at the Elysée Palace in 1981

French PM Raymond Barre met Valery Giscard d’Estaing at the Elysée Palace in 1981

Valery Giscard d'Estaing (L) and his wife Anne-Aymone leaving after attending the funeral of L'Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt at Saint-Pierre church in Neuilly-sur-Seine, near Paris

Valery Giscard d'Estaing (L) and his wife Anne-Aymone leaving after attending the funeral of L'Oréal heiress, Liliane Bettencourt, at Saint-Pierre church in Neuilly-sur-Seine, near Paris

Valery Giscard d’Estaing (L) and his wife Anne-Aymone leaving after attending the funeral of L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt at Saint-Pierre church in Neuilly-sur-Seine, near Paris

Mr. Giscard d'Estaing sought to project the image of a young modern president, closer to the people than his predecessors, inviting himself to dine with ordinary people

Mr. Giscard d'Estaing sought to project the image of a young modern president, closer to the people than his predecessors, inviting himself to dine with ordinary people

The global economic downturn of the 1970s and his perceived arrogance contributed to his loss of his candidacy for re-election to socialist François Mitterrand.

The global economic downturn of the 1970s and his perceived arrogance contributed to his loss of his candidacy for re-election to socialist François Mitterrand.

Mr. Giscard d’Estaing sought to project the image of a young modern president, closer to the people than his predecessors, inviting himself to dine with ordinary people. The global economic downturn of the 1970s and his perceived arrogance contributed to his loss of his candidacy for re-election to socialist François Mitterrand.

Mr Giscard d’Estaing took office a year after Britain joined the European Economic Community and met all of the British leaders from Edward Heath – the only one he described as a ‘true European’ – to David Cameron.

He once said that it was geography that dictated Britain’s often thorny relationship with Europe and, in 2016, helped efforts to persuade the British to stay in the European Union. Months before the 2016 referendum, he told Reuters his message to Britain was: “We love you. Don’t leave us now.

Known for his razor sharp intelligence, Mr Giscard d’Estaing, who was 55 when he lost his candidacy for re-election, complained that many in France saw little use for former presidents. “They only have the right to publish memoirs that no one reads. I never accepted that and over time I feel more and more free, ”he said.

He notably assumed the role of head of the convention which drafted a European constitution which was rejected in France and the Netherlands in 2005 and which would have seen increased integration.

For more than three decades, Mr Giscard d’Estaing retained the title of France’s youngest president, until Emmanuel Macron blew up the country’s political arena at the age of 39, nine years younger. than Giscard when he was elected.

Mr. Giscard d’Estaing was well known for his passionate relationships with many beautiful women. He was married to his cousin, Anne-Aymone Sauvage de Brantes, and they had four children together.

His busy private life is regularly reported in the French national press.

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