Friday, December 04, 2009

Our Première Dame

There aren’t many photographs of Madame Henriette Poincaré. She was the wife of the president of France, Raymond Poincaré, during the first world war. I was interested to see that she has Italian blood like our present First Lady. She always accompanied her husband whenever it was possible and worked hard during the war to send out parcels, not only to the soldiers, but to the families and children they had left behind as well as offer them support.

She and her husband loved to spend time in the gardens at the Elysée palace. In 1917 an Orang-utan escaped from a nearby circus, found its way into the gardens and tried to drag her up a tree. Of course this news was censored at the time. She must have been absolutely terrified.

Here you see her arriving in Limoges in 1913 accompanied by the Minister of Agriculture (her husband had already arrived).

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