[Ed. – Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose? The Bourbons used to have the same problem.]
The latest revelations call into question whether a complex personal life can be private for someone with round-the-clock bodyguards, and about the role of “first lady” in France. [Valerie] Trierweiler is the first person to hold the post who was not married to the president.
Hollande said he will clarify who the first lady is before he takes a presidential trip to the United States on Feb. 11, but he wouldn’t comment further.
The pictures published in Closer included one of a man the magazine said was Hollande being ferried by motorcycle to an apartment where [Julie] Gayet waited. …
The issue even reached the floor of parliament Tuesday. A leading legislator from the opposition conservative UMP party accused the president of taking unreasonable risks with his security. …
Photographer Valiela said he was surprised at the lack of security for Hollande, whose government has been repeatedly threatened by al-Qaida.
“To go to the rendezvous with Julie Gayet, he was taking some risks,” he told RTL. “As soon as he got into the apartment, his guards left.”
Hollande, who has four children from a previous relationship with a leading politician, was elected as a “Monsieur Normal” in a backlash against his flamboyant predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy.