Somehow though, for just the briefest of moments, François Hollande and the recently-elected mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, seemed to forget theirs (manners that is) during Queen Elizabeth II's three-day state visit of France last week to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
Their collective faux pas (let's keep this French) happened at the end of the visit as Hollande and Hidalgo accompanied their guest to the flower market in the capital's IV arrondissement to a ceremony at which it would be renamed in her honour "Marche aux Fleurs - Reine Elizabeth II"
There was just the slightest of drizzles in the air as the trio made their way on foot to the flower market.
Hollande, well used to the rain (who can forget how the heavens opened to "rain on his parade" just after he had been inaugurated president back in May 2012) didn't blink twice as a few drops fell.
And the Queen, clearly a hardy soul and always prepared, simply opened (or had it opened for her) a modest but clearly regal personal transparent umbrella (so that "one" could best be seen by the adoring crowds presumably).
Hidalgo though was having none of it and instead was accompanied by a "factotum" carrying the largest black brolly covering...well, just her really (click on this link to see the photo).
Of course in the grand scheme of things, it wasn't that important and certainly far from being dramatic but for the French weekly news magazine Le Point, it "spoke volumes about the characters involved."
"It's hard to believe your eyes," went the rather tongue-in-cheek piece.
"Elizabeth II, 88-year-old sovereign for 62 years, holding her own umbrella while Anne Hidalgo, not yet 55 years old and mayor for just over two months has someone else holding hers....Shocking!"
|(screenshot BFM TV report|