Librarians, please forgive these rulers for breaking the rule of reverent silence in the stacks: Queen Camilla and Brigitte Macron, wife of French President Emmanuel Macron, broke out into giggles during the photocall for an event at the French National Library.
In an engagement Thursday morning at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Queen Camilla, 76, and the French First Lady, 70, were both caught trying to keep a straight face on camera, with Macron even covering her mouth with her hand to try and suppress laughter at one point. The duo were at an event to launch a new Franco-British literary prize, The Entente Littéraire Prize, which promotes excellence in the Young Adult fiction genre. Camilla also delivered a speech about the power of literature, which she began and ended in French.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I hope that you will forgive my slightly rusty French, but it is now 60 years since I was a student at the Institut Britanniquein Paris,” she said. “It is a huge pleasure to be here with Madame Brigitte Macron today, in this wonderful library, to launch the Prix de L’Entente Littéraire. I very much hope that this prize will go a long way to proving that Victor Hugo was unfair to us when he said, ‘L’Angleterre a deux livres,’ ‘England has two books’—as dearly as we value the Bible and Shakespeare, I promise that we have many more than two, as the esteemed authors gathered here demonstrate.”
Later in her remarks, she again invoked Hugo, though in a less sassy comment.
“To quote Victor Hugo once again, ‘Apprendre à lire, c’est allumer du feu; toute syllabeépelée étincelle’: ‘To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark,’” she said.
The Queen and French First Lady palled around Wednesday night as well, when while attending a state banquet at the Palace of Versailles, Macron was spotted adjusting the Queen’s cape.
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