Affairs of state: Hollande meets Pope
ENMESHED in a complicated love triangle that has made salacious headlines around the world, French President Francois Hollande had his first meeting with Pope Francis yesterday.
The father of four, who has never married, met the leader of an institution for whom marriage and fidelity remain the bedrock of society.
The encounter came two weeks after revelations emerged of the French president's alleged affair with the actress Julie Gayet.
Mr Hollande was greeted by Archbishop Georg Ganswein, the Pope's personal secretary, and led up a red carpet into the Apostolic Palace at the heart of the Vatican. Flanked by Swiss Guards, he was led into a reception room to meet the Pope. "I'm happy to be welcomed here," said the president.
The Pope and the president posed for photo-graphers and then held a 35-minute private meeting.
Meanwhile, it emerged that President Hollande's partner Valerie Trierweiler will this weekend make her first public appearance since the revelations.
Ms Trierweiler (left) will fly to India to fulfil two humanitarian engagements in Mumbai, according to the newspaper 'Le Parisien'.
Two weeks after the revelation of the president's love affair with Ms Gayet, the future of his eight-year partnership with Ms Trierweiler remains opaque. (© Daily Telegraph, London)