Why this story matters:
Everything started with a simple interview between a spokesman of the Elysée, the presidential residence, and a journalist from Le Monde on Saturday, May 5. But things took a strange turn when Bruno Roger-Petit described his boss, Emmanuel Macron: "To him, touching is fundamental, it's a second language. It is a performative touch: 'the King touches you, God cures you.' It is a kind of transcendence."
The royal allusion went viral on social media.
Indeed, the timing was perfect since Macron is celebrating his first anniversary of taking office. And during this year, we have seen a president trying really hard to show his "presidential stature." Maybe a little bit too much.
This kind of posturing recollects the presidents right after World War Two, and it's old-fashioned now. Moreover, this declaration shows how Macron and his staff are striving to make the French people believe in him as a heaven-sent president. But, in a country with so many social crises (with students, the national rail company, lawyers, and the health sector...), it will be hard to convince everyone.
Details from the story:
- Bruno Roger-Petit, a spokesman from Macron's staff, made a rather royalist statement about his boss, which went viral on social media.
- The spokesman, Roger-Petit, was a previously columnist known to have used royalist accolades about past French presidents.
- "The King touches you, God cures you" is a reference to French history. Starting around the 12th century until Louis XVI, kings in France used to touch sick people to cure them.