Trump in Paris: Military pomp and the high life

July 14, 2017 3:40 pm
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US President Donald Trump (left) and First Lady Melania Trump board Air Force One at Paris’s Orly Airport on July 14, 2017/AFP

, PARIS, France, Jul 14 – Dinner up the Eiffel Tower, a military parade and a controversial moment with the French president’s wife: AFP looks at the key moments of Donald Trump’s trip to Paris.

Detente

In talks Thursday at the presidential Elysee Palace followed by a joint news conference, Trump and his host Emmanuel Macron appeared to set differences aside, notably over the Paris climate accord.

The Trumps dine with the Macrons at the Eiffel Tower in Paris on July 13, 2017/AFP

The body language was warm throughout the two-day visit, with the pair frequently seen clapping each other on the back or touching an elbow.

In his speech at the Bastille Day parade, Macron said “nothing will ever separate” France and the United States, adding that Trump’s presence was “the sign of a friendship across the ages” between their countries.

‘Dinner between friends’

The men and their wives, Melania and Brigitte, enjoyed a glittering dinner up the Eiffel Tower prepared by Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse beef with truffle sauce and warm strawberry and yoghurt sorbet.

Macron had said beforehand that he was looking forward to a “dinner between friends”.

Brigitte in ‘great shape’

But there was one possible faux pas.

French jets fly over the Arc de Triomphe in Paris during the Bastille Day military parade on July 14, 2017 © POOL/AFP / Etienne LAURENT

“You know, you’re in such great shape… beautiful,” Trump told 64-year-old Brigitte Macron, who was sporting a short white Louis Vuitton dress and stiletto heels, during their visit to Napoleon’s tomb.

A cellphone video posted on the presidential Facebook page and picked up by media around the world sparked a firestorm on social media, with critics saying Trump was alluding to her age she is 25 years older than her husband.

The age gap is similar between Trump, 71, and his 47-year-old wife Melania, herself dressed in a red Dior dress with her hair pulled up in a chignon.

Champs-Elysee parade

Trump and Macron appeared relaxed and happy in each other’s company as they watched the traditional Bastille Day parade along Paris’s Champs-Elysees on Friday, frequently exchanging comments and grins.

The parade, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the US entry into World War I, was led by an American contingent in the uniforms of the “Sammies” as US soldiers were nicknamed a century ago, after Uncle Sam.

The traditional flyover of the French aerobatic team with red, white and blue vapour trails was preceded this year by a US Air Force display that included two F-22 stealth fighter jets.

The pomp and ceremony gave way to a light-hearted break from tradition when a French military band struck up a rendition of “Get Lucky” by French electro superstars Daft Punk.

They stole the show with a tightly choreographed routine, swinging their trumpets and tubas while strutting around in their starched uniforms.

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