The tragic story of Anne Pingeot – the mistress of the President of France

She was only 19 years old when she met François Mitterrand.

It so happened that after General Charles de Gaulle, who was not only an outstanding statesman but also an exemplary family man, the subsequent presidents of the republic introduced other traditions into the Elysee Palace. Now behind each of them stretched a trail of love adventures and it seemed that every French president seemed to catch up.François Mitterrand© Sowa Sergiusz / Alamy François Mitterrand

François Mitterrand was also no exception to the rule. He was distinguished by good taste, dressed with grace, and jealously watched his appearance and figure. And not forgetting to conduct state affairs wisely. And to be known as a desperate womanizer – but only a few people, especially close to the president, knew about it. In the passionate embrace of François Mitterrand visited the famous singer Dalida, world cinema star Annie Girardeau, Prime Minister Edith Cresson, Minister for Women’s Rights Yvette Rudy. Once a loving and indomitable president managed to seduce the wife of a European leader when the couple was in Paris on an official visit. This case was described in his book “Trips to the Left” by Mitterrand’s personal chauffeur Pierre Tourlier. He also mentioned that when eating a dozen oysters a day, the owner of the Elysee Palace was always in great shape.François Mitterrand with his wife Danielle

However, none of the mistresses of François Mitterrand did remain in the way, receiving from the generous Frenchman a good position or an excellent opportunity to continue his career. However, among the long list of women caressed by the President of the Republic was one, which received not only fiery love but also humiliation and subsequent misfortunes. Paradoxically, after the death of François Mitterrand, it turned out that he had two families. One of them is official, where Danielle Mitterrand ruled, the other was associated with the name of Anne Pingeot.

The French president met Anne Pengeot at a resort located in a picturesque place on the Atlantic coast. He was 46 at the time and she was only 19. Young Anne, radiating charm and freshness, immediately attracted the attention of an experienced don Juan. Francois, without hesitation, began to care for her, every day more and more falling in love with this extraordinary girl. His tenacity and gallantry were soon rewarded: they became lovers. And François Mitterrand, to his surprise, suddenly realized that he could not live a day without Anne. This seems to have happened to him for the first time. At his own risk, he settled the young mistress in the Elysee Palace, where his official family was almost next door. The love affair with Anne Pengeot did not become apparent: the president made a lot of efforts to carefully hide it from prying eyes. For ordinary French, François Mitterrand remained an exemplary family man who is interested only in state affairs.© Getty Images

Anne Pingeot is bathed in the rays of immense love, the president does not skimp on her. By his decision, Anne receives the post of curator of the Musée d’Orsay. In 1974, she gives birth to her beloved man daughter Mazarin and delighted François Mitterrand idolizes the baby. Once, when a seven-year-old daughter lost a kitten, the president raised a platoon of gendarmes to find Mazarin’s pet. Probably, François did not experience such warmth and kindness in an official family, where Daniel Mitterrand ruled everything, raising two sons in strictness and order. François Mitterrand, perhaps, has repeatedly admitted to himself that only alone with Anne Pingeau he feels free and relaxed, not afraid to trust her. When he became terminally ill, he first decided to officially adopt Mazarin and not leave her mother without means of subsistence.

François Mitterrand seemed to have a premonition that after his death in the Elysee Palace, a stir would begin and troubles would fall on the poor head of Anne Pingeot, his most beloved woman. And indeed, after his death, a terrible scandal broke out. The new president of the republic, Jacques Chirac, under pressure from the press, suddenly woke up from a dream and decided to fight for the truth, evicted Anne Pingeot and her daughter from the Elysee Palace. Then the family of the former president met with hostility Anne’s desire to attend the funeral of François Mitterrand. The mistress of the president with her daughter, according to Danielle Mitterrand, should not participate in the mourning ceremony: this can be a shameful stain on the reputation of the official family. However, she dared to go against the outraged public. As a result, Anne Pingeot, along with Mazarin, followed the coffin of François Mitterrand, seeing off his beloved man and kind, caring father on his last journey.

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