French President Emmanuel Macron showed his lacking sense of humour when a teenager addressed him as “Manu.”
Macron visited Fort Mont-Valérien near Paris on Monday for the 78th anniversary of late French General Charles de Gaulle’s resistance call, where hundreds of French Resistance members were executed during World War II.
The French head of state was greeting members of the public who came out to attend the event when a teenager addressed him with an informal, “How’s it going Manu?”
The approach did not go down well with Macron, who took a second to admonish the teen in front of his peers, saying: “No, you can’t do that, no, no, no, no.”
“Sorry, Mr President,” the teen replied — but that didn’t quite cut it for Macron.
“You’re here, at an official ceremony and you should behave,” he went on. “You can play the fool but today it’s the Marseillaise [the national anthem], the Chant des Partisans [French Resistance song], so you call me ‘Mister President’ or ‘sir.’ Ok? There you go.”
The teen responded sheepishly, “Yes, sir.”
Worse still, the young visitor had been singing The Internationale, which is a French left-wing anthem, to slight the centre-right president.
Alluding to this, Macron said, “The day you want to start a revolution you study first in order to obtain a degree and feed yourself, ok? And then you can lecture others.”
You can watch the full exchange here:
The clip was widely shared on social media as users commented on Macron’s patronising style of dictation.
In any case, if you want a vis-à-vis with the French president, it’s probably best to address him by his full name — or sir.