Macron’s moving address comes alongside newspapers clearing front pages to express national sorrow
Across the Channel in proudly republican France, the death of Queen Elizabeth II provoked an unexpectedly emotional response reflecting a long-held and profound affection for the British monarch.
The main newspapers paid tribute to the Queen on the front pages of Friday’s editions.
The left-of-centre Libération devoted its entire cover to a black and white photograph of her taken by Cecil Beaton in 1968 with the words La peine d’Angleterre – a play on the words reine (queen) and peine (sorrow) – and a 17-page special.
⚫️ La peine d’Angleterre : voici la une de @libe vendredi, après la mort d’Elizabeth II https://t.co/nj2k4mQp7h #QueenElizabeth pic.twitter.com/dngzR43bp7
In an editorial, the paper wrote: “Only Louis XIV had a longer reign. The death of the Queen of England (sic), announced Thursday evening by Buckingham Palace, sent a shockwave across the world, as it was natural and destabilising at the same time. The phrase ‘The Queen is dead’ was pronounced.”
The centre-right Le Figaro also carried a large photo of the Queen with the headline L’adieu à la reine (Farewell to the Queen). “The United Kingdom cries for its monarch. Her death arouses a wave of emotion in the whole world,” it wrote.
«Elizabeth II, un roc pour son royaume», l'éditorial de @edemontety
https://t.co/VHWL2ENnO6 pic.twitter.com/Bz1PnYIv9n
Le Parisien produced a special edition, dedicating its front page to the Queen and the headline: Nous l’avons tant aimée (We loved her so much). Its 13-page inside coverage included photographs of Elizabeth II meeting every French president since Charles de Gaulle under the headline: Une love story avec la France.
La une du journal du vendredi 09 septembre https://t.co/0b7FCe2C1c pic.twitter.com/2aIvCdOr2E
Even local newspapers including Le Télégramme, Sud Ouest, Nice Matin and La Provence cleared their planned front pages to run the story. Among the simplest and most moving was Corse Matin, whose front page was entirely taken up with a sombre black and white photograph and the words “the Queen”.
Le Monde also chose a black and white front-page photograph and published a 12-page special supplement.
If there was any lingering doubt whether Emmanuel Macron was “friend or foe” – a question on which Liz Truss felt the jury was out – the verdict came in a statement from the Élysée Palace on Thursday night.
“She was one with her nation: she embodied a people, a territory, and a shared will. And stability: above all the fluctuations and upheaval of politics, she represented a sense of eternity,” Macron wrote.
He added: “She held a special status in France and a special place in the hearts of the French people. No foreign sovereign has climbed the stairs of the Élysée Palace more often than she, who honoured France with six state visits and met each of its presidents. For her, French was not a mere relic of Normandy ancestry that persisted in so many customs, but an intimate, cherished language. The Queen of 16 kingdoms loved France, which loved her back. This evening, the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth are mourning their Queen. The people of France join them in their grief.”
To you, she was your Queen.
To us, she was The Queen.
She will be with all of us forever. pic.twitter.com/PaL1DRmlHK
On Friday, in a moving address in English to “Dear citizens of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth”, Macron added: “Her wisdom and empathy have helped us all to steer a path through the historic ups and downs of the last seven decades. With her passing we all feel an emptiness.
“We are grateful for her deep affection for France. Elizabeth II mastered our language, loved our culture and touched our hearts.”

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