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Hundreds of people stood in line at the monument today to pay their respects to the former leader

The crowd gathered today in the French city of Paris to pay their respects to former President Jacques Chirac.

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A funeral convoy with the body of the 86-year-old was traveling through central Paris today and long lines formed this afternoon of people who wanted to remember Chirac.

His death on Thursday led to a stream of tribute for the politician who will be remembered by many as a charismatic giant of domestic and international politics despite a mixed legacy.

His political career lasted three decades and he also spent 12 years as president from 1995-2007.

Today his influence was felt throughout the city, as many arrived with posters from Chirac, while others had signs of good wishes.

From today afternoon his coffin will be in the state in the Saint-Louis-des-Invalides cathedral in the Invalides memorial complex in the center of Paris for the French public to come and show their final respect.

Hundreds of people stood in line at the monument today to pay their respects to the former leader

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Hundreds of people stood in line at the monument today to pay their respects to the former leader

A large photo of Chirac was shown in front of his coffin today, there was an EU flag on one side and a French flag on the other

A large photo of Chirac was shown in front of his coffin today, there was an EU flag on one side and a French flag on the other

A large photo of Chirac was shown in front of his coffin today, there was an EU flag on one side and a French flag on the other

The funeral procession of French President Jacques Chirac arrives at the & # 39; Hotel des Invalises & # 39 ;. Police were seen on all sides of the procession

The funeral procession of French President Jacques Chirac arrives at the & # 39; Hotel des Invalises & # 39 ;. Police were seen on all sides of the procession

The funeral procession of French President Jacques Chirac arrives at the & # 39; Hotel des Invalises & # 39 ;. Police were seen on all sides of the procession

This afternoon, people gathered outside the Saint-Louis-des-Invalides cathedral in Paris while waiting to attend the public ceremony

This afternoon, people gathered outside the Saint-Louis-des-Invalides cathedral in Paris while waiting to attend the public ceremony

This afternoon, people gathered outside the Saint-Louis-des-Invalides cathedral in Paris while waiting to attend the public ceremony

Chirac (pictured above in 2006) died on September 86 at the age of 86 and since then tributes have been pouring in for the former president
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Chirac (pictured above in 2006) died on September 86 at the age of 86 and since then tributes have been pouring in for the former president

Chirac (pictured above in 2006) died on September 86 at the age of 86 and since then tributes have been pouring in for the former president

The hearse carrying the body of Chirac can be seen driving past the Grand Palais while many people gather along the streets

The hearse carrying the body of Chirac can be seen driving past the Grand Palais while many people gather along the streets

The hearse carrying the body of Chirac can be seen driving past the Grand Palais while many people gather along the streets

The French flag was on either side of the entrance today depicting people arriving at the Saint-Louis-des-Invalides cathedral

The French flag was on either side of the entrance today depicting people arriving at the Saint-Louis-des-Invalides cathedral

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The French flag was on either side of the entrance today depicting people arriving at the Saint-Louis-des-Invalides cathedral

Since Thursday evening, the French presidency had opened the doors of the Elysee Palace to anyone who wanted to write in condolence books. By the time the doors closed on Saturday night, 5,000 people had done this.

& # 39; A page is turning, & # 39; said Christine, 60, signing the book. & # 39; He had a human side that we don't have in politics today & # 39 ;, Thibaud added, 23 years old.

Sunday's events are followed on Monday by a national day of mourning in France, with a minute of silence in all public institutions and schools.

Tomorrow morning, the coffin leaves the Invalides under military escort before arriving in the Saint-Sulpice church for a final memorial service attended by President Emmanuel Macron.

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The Elysee said that around 30 heads of state and government will be present, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Former leaders who worked closely with Chirac, including in particular the German former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, will also be there.

The funeral convoy (above) was surrounded today by police and security officials as it was on its way to the monument

The funeral convoy (above) was surrounded today by police and security officials as it was on its way to the monument

The funeral convoy (above) was surrounded today by police and security officials as it was on its way to the monument

Mourners along the route while Jacques Chirac's body is being transported to Invalides Former French President Jacques Chirac is in the state

Mourners along the route while Jacques Chirac's body is being transported to Invalides Former French President Jacques Chirac is in the state

The French national flag flies half-mast on the roof of the Invalides in Paris

The French national flag flies half-mast on the roof of the Invalides in Paris

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The mourners today held posters of the former leader (left) while the French national flag today stood half-mast on the roof of the Invalides (right)

The rows of people stretched out all over Paris today as they gathered in the city to say a final goodbye to the former leader

The rows of people stretched out all over Paris today as they gathered in the city to say a final goodbye to the former leader

The rows of people stretched out all over Paris today as they gathered in the city to say a final goodbye to the former leader

A man holds up a sign with the speech of former French President Jacques Chirac during the plenary session of the World Summit on Sustainable Development on 2 September 2002 in Johannesbourg, with the text: & # 39; Our house burns down and we are blind in front of. Nature, mutilated and over-exploited, can no longer regenerate and we refuse to admit it. Mankind suffers. It suffers from poor development, both in the north and the south, and we are indifferent. Earth and humanity are in danger and we are all responsible & # 39;

A man holds up a sign with the speech of former French President Jacques Chirac during the plenary session of the World Summit on Sustainable Development on 2 September 2002 in Johannesbourg, with the text: & # 39; Our house burns down and we are blind in front of. Nature, mutilated and over-exploited, can no longer regenerate and we refuse to admit it. Mankind suffers. It suffers from poor development, both in the north and the south, and we are indifferent. Earth and humanity are in danger and we are all responsible & # 39;

A man holds up a sign with the speech of former French President Jacques Chirac during the plenary session of the World Summit on Sustainable Development on 2 September 2002 in Johannesbourg, with the text: & # 39; Our house burns down and we are blind in front of. Nature, mutilated and over-exploited, can no longer regenerate and we refuse to admit it. Mankind suffers. It suffers from poor development, both in the north and the south, and we are indifferent. Earth and humanity are in danger and we are all responsible & # 39;

Chirac & # 39; s successors Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande, will also be present as well as Marine Le Penne.

Chirac is buried in the cemetery of Montparnasse in the south of Paris, next to his daughter Laurence who died in 2016 at the age of 58 after a fight with anorexia.

Thousands flocked to the Elysee Palace on Friday to pay homage to Chirac when the Tricolore flew half mast and the Eiffel Tower fell in the dark.

Shortly thereafter, a minute's silence was held in the French National Assembly, when images of the deceased statesman were projected on the Hotel de Ville in Paris.

As the day progressed, mourners came to his Paris house to lay flowers before thousands stood in line to write a tribute in a condolence book in the presidential palace.

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The Eiffel Tower was plunged into the dark from 7 p.m. when French politicians described it past and present as a & # 39; great Frenchman & # 39; who & # 39; France embodied & # 39 ;.

People did not allow themselves to be bothered by the rain this afternoon when they stood patiently in line to pay tribute to the late President

People did not allow themselves to be bothered by the rain this afternoon when they stood patiently in line to pay tribute to the late President

People did not allow themselves to be bothered by the rain this afternoon when they stood patiently in line to pay tribute to the late President

Leader of the French MoDem-centrist party Francois Bayrou (photo below right) pays tribute during the monument this afternoon

Leader of the French MoDem-centrist party Francois Bayrou (photo below right) pays tribute during the monument this afternoon

Leader of the French MoDem-centrist party Francois Bayrou (photo below right) pays tribute during the monument this afternoon

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Macron praised Chirac for leading an & # 39; independent and proud France, able to stand up against an unjustified military intervention & # 39 ;.

He was later seen with his wife Brigitte in the former house of Chriac and was greeted by his son-in-law Frederic Salat-Baroux.

Despite his fierce opposition to the war in Iraq, which put him at odds with the former prime minister, Tony Blair greeted Chirac as & # 39; a towering figure in French and European politics over many decades & # 39 ;.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote on Twitter: & Jacques Chirac was a formidable political leader who shaped the destiny of his country in a career that spanned four decades. His loss will be felt throughout France, across the generations. & # 39;

He added in French: & # 39; My sincere condolences to his family, his friends, and the French people. & # 39;

People were pictured this afternoon signing the condolence book, some all wearing black clothes while others opted for casual jeans and a sweater
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People were pictured this afternoon signing the condolence book, some all wearing black clothes while others opted for casual jeans and a sweater

People were pictured this afternoon signing the condolence book, some all wearing black clothes while others opted for casual jeans and a sweater

The death of Chirac was announced Thursday morning by his son-in-law Frederic Salat-Baroux.

The former leader suffered from heart problems in recent years.

In a long career on the French right, Chirac was twice Prime Minister of France before serving as head of state from 1995 to 2007.

Margaret Thatcher the & # 39; housewife & # 39; and an attack on British food: Jacques Chirac in quotation marks

The art of diplomacy

& # 39; What else does this housewife want from me? My balls on a plate? & # 39;

1988, caught on a microphone during tense European negotiations with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Immigration

& # 39; Today there is an overdose … Spaniards, Poles and Portuguese who work here cause fewer problems than Muslims and blacks. & # 39;

1991, in a speech on immigration policy to his center-right party.

Jewish collection

A younger Jacques Chirac in 1975, when he was Prime Minister of France, with Margaret Thatcher, who was then leader of the opposition in Great Britain

A younger Jacques Chirac in 1975, when he was Prime Minister of France, with Margaret Thatcher, who was then leader of the opposition in Great Britain

A younger Jacques Chirac in 1975, when he was Prime Minister of France, with Margaret Thatcher, who was then leader of the opposition in Great Britain

& # 39; France, the land of light and human rights, land of welcome and asylum, France did something that cannot be restored on that day … it delivered those under its protection to their executioners. & # 39;

1995, and became the first French president to surrender the country's responsibility for collecting Jews to Nazi death camps during the Second World War.

Climate change

& # 39; Our house is burning while we look the other way … Nature, mutilated and overloaded, can no longer regenerate and we refuse to admit … the earth and humanity are in danger, and we are all responsible. & # 39;

2002, speech to the Earth Summit in Johannesburg.

To the far right

& # 39; In the light of intolerance and hate, no trade is possible, no compromise possible, no debate possible. & # 39;

2002, in which he declares his refusal to participate in a television debate with extreme right-wing leader Jean-Marie Le Pen for the presidential election.

Iraq invasion

& # 39; There is no reason for a unilateral decision to wage war. Iraq is not an immediate threat today that justifies an immediate war. & # 39;

2003, after US President George W. Bush told Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to leave the country or take military action within 48 hours.

Know someone's place

& # 39; These countries behaved poorly and recklessly … It was dangerous in addition to being childish. & # 39;

2003, reprimanding five so-called European Union members for supporting US plans to invade Iraq.

The British

& # 39; The only thing they've ever done for European agriculture is crazy cow disease. After Finland it is the country with the worst food. You can't trust people who have a bad kitchen. & # 39;

2005, again caught on a microphone that spoke with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Reputation as a womanizer

& # 39; I was never dirty with women. But I never exaggerated. & # 39;

In an interview with interviews published in 2007, & # 39; The Stranger in the Elysee & # 39 ;.

inheritance

& # 39; I have no idea what people will remember. I am not really a vain person. & # 39;

The same book.

As president, he historically apologized for France's role in the Holocaust, but his term of office was also marked by riots and a burning defeat over EU integration.

He also had a reputation as a womanizer and philanderer who repeatedly cheated on his long-suffering wife Bernadette during their 63-year marriage.

His famous partners were the Italian sex symbol Claudia Cardinale and there were rumors about a series of relationships with journalists and politicians.

Chirac was also known for his love of the good life, enjoying the attributes of power, including luxury travel abroad and life in the presidential palace.

After leaving office, Chirac was found guilty of corruption dating back to his time as mayor of Paris and was sentenced to two years in prison.

His successors both paid tribute today, Nicolas Sarkozy stated that & # 39; part of my life has disappeared & quot; while Francois Hollande said that France & # 39; lost a statesman & & # 39 ;.

An infamous philanderer who once confessed: & # 39; I was never averse to women … but I never exaggerated & # 39;

Chirac married Bernadette in 1956 and they remained married for the rest of his life despite his serial philandering. They had two children.

Chirac's charming style, large and elegant, would do wonders on the campaign track, radiate warmth when kissing babies and enjoy western movies and beer.

Handsome, and with the powerful physique of the rugby player he was in his youth, his smooth hair and nose on the ski slope were favorites of cartoonists.

Despite his famous success with women, his office workers called him & # 39; Mr. Three Minutes, including shower & # 39 ;, according to a book published by his driver.

As mayor of Paris in the 1980s, he is said to have ordered the municipality to buy a one-bedroom bus so that he could meet his loved ones during official engagements.

He was unavailable for several hours in 1997 to hear that Diana, Princess of Wales, had been involved in a fatal car accident in Paris.

The rumor went on later that he had slept with Claudia Cardinale, the Italian actress and sex symbol.

Chirac was generally said to have an affair with political correspondent and married Mother-of-a-Jacqueline Chabridon in the 1970s, when he was Prime Minister.

There were even claims that Chirac was considering jeopardizing his political career by divorcing Bernadette to be with Chabridon.

Bernadette himself once said that she had considered leaving her husband and begged him to stop and said: & # 39; Napoleon started losing everything on the day he left Josephine. & # 39;

He admitted that he still referred to his wife using the formal & # 39; vous & # 39; instead of the well-known & # 39; tu & # 39 ;.

In the 1970s, Chirac took over as president-advisor Marie-France Garaud, generally regarded as the most influential woman in France.

The driver's book in 2001 claimed that there was a & # 39; amorous & # 39; relationship between them. She later ran for president herself.

When Chirac was Prime Minister in the 1980s, there were claims that he was a meeting & # 39; hand in hand & # 39; would go with Health Minister Michele Barzach.

Further rumors surrounded Chirac and journalist Elisabeth Friederich in the early nineties.

There was outrage when the couple was pictured on a beach vacation together in Mauritius, a trip allegedly paid for with public funds.

Just before leaving office, Chirac said: & # 39; There have been women I have loved so much, as discreetly as possible. & # 39;

He also said: & # 39; I was never averse to women. But I never exaggerated. & # 39; Chirac remained a devout Roman Catholic all his life.

The Chiracs also adopted Ahn Dao Taxel, a Vietnam boat refugee who arrived at Charles de Gaulle Airport in 1979, when Mr. Chirac told her: & # 39; You are coming home with us & # 39 ;.

Declining health from Jacques Chirac who suffered a stroke at the office and was even hit by his dog

Chirac was a former chain smoker and openly enjoyed the luxury of strength during his long career.

His health began to deteriorate in his office and in 2005 suffered a mysterious blood vessel problem that turned out to be a stroke. He installed a pacemaker in 2008.

In a bizarre episode in 2009, he was taken to the hospital after being rescued by his own dog who was being treated with antidepressants.

Chirac was & # 39; badly bitten & # 39; after the animal for him & # 39; for no apparent reason & # 39; had gone, the wife of the former president remembered.

The dog apparently struggled to adapt to life outside the Elysee presidential palace and had to be given away later.

Chirac in Paris in 2014. He had had a number of health problems in recent years. It is pictured above at the Quai Branly Museum in Paris in 2014

Chirac in Paris in 2014. He had had a number of health problems in recent years. It is pictured above at the Quai Branly Museum in Paris in 2014

Chirac in Paris in 2014. He had had a number of health problems in recent years. It is pictured above at the Quai Branly Museum in Paris in 2014

Jacques and Bernadette Chirac on vacation with his family in 1995, the year he was elected president of France

Jacques and Bernadette Chirac on vacation with his family in 1995, the year he was elected president of France

Jacques and Bernadette Chirac on vacation with his family in 1995, the year he was elected president of France

Chirac in 1995 with his daughter Claude, who became his advisor and spokeswoman when her father was elected president that year

Chirac in 1995 with his daughter Claude, who became his advisor and spokeswoman when her father was elected president that year

Chirac in 1995 with his daughter Claude, who became his advisor and spokeswoman when her father was elected president that year

Chirac with the Queen after a state banquet at Windsor Castle in November 2004

Chirac with the Queen after a state banquet at Windsor Castle in November 2004

Chirac with the Queen after a state banquet at Windsor Castle in November 2004

Chirac was apologized for attending his 2011 trial for health reasons after doctors said he was suffering from neurological problems affecting his memory.

He was found guilty of channeling public money into ghost jobs for political guard when he was mayor of Paris, but was not sent to prison, partly for health reasons.

The former president also had kidney surgery in 2013 and was also admitted three times after his office at the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris for a lung infection.

In his final years he became visibly weak and walked with a cane during a prize-giving ceremony in November 2014 from his foundation, which supports peace projects. It is not yet revealed how he died.

The early life of a communist agitator who later became a right-wing standard bearer

Chirac was born in Paris in November 1932 and was expelled from school for photographing paper crams on a teacher.

As a young man, Chirac had joined the French Communist Party and called for the abolition of nuclear weapons, although he would later become a standard bearer of justice.

He sold the communist newspaper L & # 39; Humanite on the street for a short time.

Mr. Chirac traveled to the United States as a young man and as President he remembered hitchhiking across the country.

A young Jacques Chirac is pictured at the age of 10. He joined the Communist Party as a young man, but later became a standard bearer of French law

A young Jacques Chirac is pictured at the age of 10. He joined the Communist Party as a young man, but later became a standard bearer of French law

A young Jacques Chirac is pictured at the age of 10. He joined the Communist Party as a young man, but later became a standard bearer of French law

Chirac as French Prime Minister in 1975 with Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping. The black and white photo shows the group smiling

Chirac as French Prime Minister in 1975 with Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping. The black and white photo shows the group smiling

Chirac as French Prime Minister in 1975 with Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping. The black and white photo shows the group smiling

He worked as a forklift driver in St. Louis and as a soft drink in a Howard Johnson restaurant while attending summer school at Harvard University.

Chirac served in Algeria during the war of independence, which lost France, and enrolled in the French Ecole Nationale d & # 39; Administration, the elite training ground for the French political class.

In 1956 he married Bernadette Chodron de Courcel, the niece of a former assistant to De Gaulle and himself involved in local politics in the agricultural region of Correze.

Political rise of & # 39; Chameleon Bonaparte & # 39; who became prime minister at the age of 41

Chirac & # 39; s long career in national politics began in the 1960s when he worked under president and former resistance hero Charles de Gaulle.

He was nicknamed & # 39; Le Bulldozer & # 39; early in his career because of his determination and ambition.

His changing political views also earned him nicknames, such as Chameleon Bonaparte and the Weathervane.

Within five years, Chirac was a deputy minister and had conquered a parliamentary seat in the central Correze region.

When students and trade unions entered the streets of Paris in the May 1968 uprising, he helped close a ceasefire that avoided large bloodshed.

Chirac is greeted by Sumo wrestlers during a visit to Japan in November 1996 during his first term as President of France

Chirac is greeted by Sumo wrestlers during a visit to Japan in November 1996 during his first term as President of France

Chirac is greeted by Sumo wrestlers during a visit to Japan in November 1996 during his first term as President of France

Chirac (center) with US President Bill Clinton and German leader Helmut Kohl in 1995. They were present at the signing of the Bosnian peace agreement at the Elysee Palace in Paris

Chirac (center) with US President Bill Clinton and German leader Helmut Kohl in 1995. They were present at the signing of the Bosnian peace agreement at the Elysee Palace in Paris

Chirac (center) with US President Bill Clinton and German leader Helmut Kohl in 1995. They were present at the signing of the Bosnian peace agreement at the Elysee Palace in Paris

Chirac meets former South African leader Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg in September 2002, the year Chirac won re-election as French president

Chirac meets former South African leader Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg in September 2002, the year Chirac won re-election as French president

Chirac meets former South African leader Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg in September 2002, the year Chirac won re-election as French president

On his way to the ladder, he became Prime Minister in 1974 – a subordinate position in France – under President Valery Giscard d & # 39; Estaing.

A personality conflict with Giscard led Chirac to resign, but he quickly took over the presidency from the conservative political party that he regained as the Republic Rally.

He became mayor of Paris in 1977 and used the visible office as a power base for the next 18 years.

Chirac returned as a prime minister in 1986 in an uneasy arrangement with president Francois Mitterrand of the opposition party.

That arrangement came to an end when Chirac, who had already tried for the presidency in 1981, lost the 1988 election against Mitterrand.

1995-2002: Holocaust apology, nuclear row and blunder in elections in Chirac & # 39; s first tenure as president

Chirac was eventually elected head of state on the third attempt in 1995 when Mitterrand finally resigned.

Promising for the & # 39; social break & # 39; to heal, he defeated socialist candidate Lionel Jospin in the second round of the 1995 election.

In what may have been his most beautiful hour, Chirac acknowledged France's active role in deporting Jews to extermination camps during the Nazi occupation in World War II.

& # 39; Yes, the criminal folly of the occupiers was seconded by the French, by the French state, & # 39; he declared and rejects the myth of the innocence of his nation in the Holocaust.

Chirac in 1999 with the then Russian leader Boris Yeltsin (center) and then Chancellor of Germany Gerhard Schröder in Istanbul

Chirac in 1999 with the then Russian leader Boris Yeltsin (center) and then Chancellor of Germany Gerhard Schröder in Istanbul

Chirac in 1999 with the then Russian leader Boris Yeltsin (center) and then Chancellor of Germany Gerhard Schröder in Istanbul

Chirac in November 1998 with Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe, who also died this month. They are pictured above at the opening of the 20th French-African summit

Chirac in November 1998 with Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe, who also died this month. They are pictured above at the opening of the 20th French-African summit

Chirac in November 1998 with Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe, who also died this month. They are pictured above at the opening of the 20th French-African summit

Chirac with the Queen at a Cemetery of the Commonwealth War Graves in France on the 60th anniversary of D-Day in 2004

Chirac with the Queen at a Cemetery of the Commonwealth War Graves in France on the 60th anniversary of D-Day in 2004

Chirac with the Queen at a Cemetery of the Commonwealth War Graves in France on the 60th anniversary of D-Day in 2004

More controversially, he restarted French nuclear testing in 1995, the first since the end of the Cold War, and earned a reprimand from Washington.

The tests in French Polynesia remain a sensitive problem, forcing Paris to pay compensation to residents who suffered the tests.

Chirac ended compulsory military service and started movements that reintegrated France into the NATO defense alliance, reversing a policy established in the 1960s.

His presidency derailed when he called unnecessary elections in 1997 and lost them, forcing him to share power with the socialists again.

In 2000 had hij een gelukkige ontsnapping aan een Concorde-luchtramp waarbij 113 mensen om het leven kwamen, toen het getroffen vliegtuig de Boeing-jet van Chirac op de landingsbaan op de luchthaven Charles de Gaulle nauwelijks miste.

2002-07: Een tweede termijn gekenmerkt door rellen en oppositie tegen de oorlog in Irak

In 2002 maakte hij een gemakkelijke rit naar een tweede termijn toen extreem-rechtse leider Jean-Marie Le Pen onverwacht de laatste ronde bereikte.

In een zeldzame show van eenheid, verenigden gematigde rechts en links zich achter Chirac en verpletterde hij Le Pen met 82 procent van de stemmen in de tweede ronde.

Later dat jaar was hij het onderwerp van een moordaanslag toen een extreemrechtse militant op hem schoot – en miste – tijdens een Bastille Day-parade.

Zijn uitgesproken verzet tegen de door de VS geleide invasie van Irak in 2003 wiegde de betrekkingen van Frankrijk met Washington en verzwakte de Atlantische alliantie.

Drong erop aan dat de actie in Irak illegaal was, Chirac geloofde dat het chaos in de regio zou veroorzaken en dreigde een veto uit te spreken over een resolutie van de VN-Veiligheidsraad die de invasie zou hebben goedgekeurd.

Voormalig Franse leider Jacques Chirac en de toenmalige Britse premier Tony Blair zijn afgebeeld in Parijs in 2006. Ze stonden op gespannen voet over de oorlog in Irak

Voormalig Franse leider Jacques Chirac en de toenmalige Britse premier Tony Blair zijn afgebeeld in Parijs in 2006. Ze stonden op gespannen voet over de oorlog in Irak

Voormalig Franse leider Jacques Chirac en de toenmalige Britse premier Tony Blair zijn afgebeeld in Parijs in 2006. Ze stonden op gespannen voet over de oorlog in Irak

De koningin, Jacques Chirac, Bernadette Chirac, George W. Bush en Laura Bush tijdens een ceremonie in 2004. Chirac vernietigde Brits eten en botste met Groot-Brittannië en Amerika over Irak

De koningin, Jacques Chirac, Bernadette Chirac, George W. Bush en Laura Bush tijdens een ceremonie in 2004. Chirac vernietigde Brits eten en botste met Groot-Brittannië en Amerika over Irak

De koningin, Jacques Chirac, Bernadette Chirac, George W. Bush en Laura Bush tijdens een ceremonie in 2004. Chirac vernietigde Brits eten en botste met Groot-Brittannië en Amerika over Irak

Boze Amerikanen goten Bordeaux-wijn in de goot en restaurants veranderden de naam Franse frieten als 'vergrijzing' als vergelding.

Thuis werd zijn gezag ernstig verzwakt door de 'nee'-stem van Frankrijk in een referendum over de Europese grondwet in 2005, wat de pro-EU Chirac schrikt.

'Als je jezelf in de voet wilt schieten, doe het dan, maar na niet klagen,' woedde hij tegen zijn eigen kiezers na de vernederende nederlaag.

In hetzelfde jaar werd hij overtroffen door Tony Blair bij het bieden op de Olympische Spelen van 2012, die Londen won ten koste van Parijs.

Tony Blair, Cherie Blair, Bernadette Chirac en Jacques Chirac in Downing Street in 2004

Tony Blair, Cherie Blair, Bernadette Chirac en Jacques Chirac in Downing Street in 2004

Tony Blair, Cherie Blair, Bernadette Chirac en Jacques Chirac in Downing Street in 2004

Chirac zwaait uit een raam tijdens een bezoek aan Blomberg in Duitsland in 2005. Dat jaar leed hij een stekende nederlaag over de noodlottige Europese grondwet

Chirac waves from a window on a visit to Blomberg in Germany in 2005. That year he suffered a stinging defeat over the ill-fated European Constitution

Chirac waves from a window on a visit to Blomberg in Germany in 2005. That year he suffered a stinging defeat over the ill-fated European Constitution

Fuming at Britain, he said: 'You can't trust people who cook as badly as that. After Finland, it's the country with the worst food.'

Despite promising to heal the 'social fracture', Chirac failed to defuse tensions between police and minority youths that exploded into riots across France in 2005.

After the presidential term was shortened from seven years to five, he left office in 2007, replaced by Nicolas Sarkozy.

By then his popularity was low and his critics accused him of spending his political energy on staying in power rather than achieving change.

Chirac had once been Sarkozy's mentor but the pair later fell out, among other things over Sarkozy's close relationship – and rumoured affair – with Chirac's daughter, Claude.

Although Sarkozy returned to a prominent role as a minister in Chirac's government, the mistrust remained, with the former protege reportedly calling Chirac a 'do-nothing king.'

After leaving the Elysee in 2007, the Chiracs lived a quiet life on Paris's Quai Voltaire in an apartment loaned by Lebanon's Hariri family, and worked on his memoirs.

In 2012 one of his aides claimed he was planning to vote for Sarkozy's challenger Francois Hollande in that year's election.

It was never confirmed whether he did, as Bernadette cast the vote by proxy in place of the ailing former President.

Bernadette Chirac remained a confidant of Sarkozy and supported his doomed bid to return to the presidency in 2017.

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