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The World This Week - 29 August 2014

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France

Hollande jokes with Queen about ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ slogan

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-06-08

Following commemorations marking the 70th anniversary of D-Day, French President François Hollande hosted a lavish dinner for Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II at the Elysée Palace in Paris, where he joked about his beleaguered presidency.

Standing in front of the 240 guests, Hollande slipped in a wisecrack in front of his regal visitor using Britain’s much-touted saying, “Keep Calm and Carry On.”

The slogan was first printed by the British government on a poster in 1939 as a way to motivate the country, which was faced with the prospect of entry into WWII.

“Madame, your family incarnates the serenity expressed by this slogan,” he said in French to the monarch, before switching into heavily-accented English to say, “Keep Calm and Carry On.”

“I don’t dare make it my personal motto,” he added to peals of laughter from the audience. Hollande’s approval ratings have steadily plummeted in recent months, making him the most unpopular French president in recent history.

The queen kept her poise, giving only the faintest of smiles at Hollande’s self-deprecating humour.

The phrase has been recently revived in popular culture with a series of witty variations, such as “Keep calm and rock on” or “Keep calm and eat a cookie,” to list a few.
 

 

Date created : 2014-06-07

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