Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Monday, 15 January 2007

France and UK considered merging, sharing Queen

According to today's Guardian, in an incredible discussion, Britain and France talked about a "union" in the 1950s, even discussing the possibility of the Queen becoming the French head of state.

In one of history's great might-have-beens, on September 10, 1956, Guy Mollet, the French prime minister, came to London to discuss the possibility of a merger between the two countries with Sir Anthony Eden, according to declassified papers from the National Archives, uncovered by the BBC. "When the French prime minister, Monsieur Mollet, was recently in London, he raised with the prime minister the possibility of a union between the United Kingdom and France." This needs to be read in its entirety:

At the time of the proposal, France was in economic difficulties and faced the escalating Suez crisis. Britain had been a staunch French ally during the two world wars. When Mr Mollet's request for a union failed, he quickly responded with another plan - that France be allowed to join the British commonwealth - which was said to have been met more warmly by Sir Anthony.

A document dated September 28, 1956, records a conversation between the prime minister and his cabinet secretary, Sir Norman Brook, saying:

"The PM told him [Brook] on the telephone that he thought, in the light of his talks with the French:

· That we should give immediate consideration to France joining the Commonwealth
· That Monsieur Mollet had not thought there need be difficulty over France accepting the headship of Her Majesty
· That the French would welcome a common citizenship arrangement on the Irish basis."

However, this proposal was also eventually rejected and, a year later, France signed the Treaty of Rome with Germany and the other founding nations of the European common market.

"I tell you the truth - when I read that I am quite astonished," the French Nationalist MP, Jacques Myard, told the BBC today. "I had a good opinion of Mr Mollet before. I think I am going to revise that opinion. I am just amazed at reading this, because since the days I was learning history as a student I have never heard of this. It is not in the textbooks."

No French record of the proposal appears to exist, and it is unclear whether there were any proposals for the name of the new union. A spokesman for the French embassy said most people had been surprised by the revelation. "We are looking at our national archives," he said. "We cannot comment at this stage."


Dundonald said...

Well, I think it would have been preferable to what we have now. Instead of sharing our Government solely with France, we now share it with Belgium, Greece, Bulgaria and Romania (along with 22 other former nations of Europe).

The Monarchist said...

Fascinating. There's certainly a long history there, going back to the Hundred Year's War. It would have been interesting to see the bi-national political structure that would have come with such a move, and would have been hugely supported by French Canadians, I would think, who have always dreamed of their own Anglo-Franco bi-national state.

Scott said...

At least we would have got Calais back (still one of the most English pieces of another country I have ever come across).

Younghusband said...

What's fascinating too is the story of that postage stamp- comissioned in 1940 before the fall of France when Churchill first muted the idea.

3 lions said...

It wasn't really a discussion, France asked and we said 'Non'.

Scott said...

what happened to the pic?

Anonymous said...

Not only was it not a discussion, but the Prime Minister appears to be a total whack-job, making an absurd demand completely unilaterally from the president, and the rest of the French government.

Unrepentant Jacobite said...

There would be too many good Frenchmen - whether Reds, Gaullists or sons of the Vendee and the King - who would have taken up arms against Paris for such an idea.

Good for England that they said "No".