Orvilliers, 2 April 2022
The person in charge of the ceremonies’ protocol of the prefecture of the Yvelines has just had a little fright. The President of the Republic’s wreath was delivered at the last minute. Everything must be ready at 11:00 a.m. sharp for the ceremony in tribute to Georges Pompidou, on the 48th anniversary of his death, at the Orvilliers cemetery. The wreaths are lined up according to the protocol’s order: first the one from the memorial association Le Souvenir français, then the ones from the family, the mayor, Marie Flis, the Yvelines departmental council, the senator, Sophie Primas, the deputy, Bruno Millienne, and finally the president’s.
Mickaël Letellier, third deputy mayor, and Xavier Marot, first deputy mayor, raise the flag and prepare the sound system to launch the Marseillaise thanks to a telephone. They remove their tricolor scarves, the protocol allowing only that of the mayor.
The three flag bearers arrive, followed by about ten people. Alain Pompidou, the adopted son of the presidential couple, can be recognized by his hat and blue scarf. “My father was the true successor of General de Gaulle. General de Gaulle was France, Georges Pompidou was the people of France. He was turned towards others. Today, many politicians are not. (…) He has no political heir (…), but people reread his speeches, especially the one in Chicago, which was a founding speech for the protection of the environment.” Minute of silence, laying of wreaths, a bouquet flies away, we launch the Marseillaise, the sound system does not work. We finish a cappella.