I was looking though some pictures last night in preparation for my next trip report and was reminded of a small incident that occurred prior to a recent domestic Air France flight. It’s a bit late now, but I’m still interested if any of you, dear readers, can identify this VIP.
Who Was The VIP Arriving From Paris On Air France?
The “sighting” took place on July 29th at EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg, the airport which straddles France and Switzerland with Germany just a few kilometers away. My wife and I were heading to Paris (there’s a backstory there too…stay tuned) and the inbound flight from Paris was late.
As we stood at the gate area waiting for our Embraer 170 to arrive, I noticed an entourage of vehicles pull up. There was a large black Peugeot sedan, police cars, and a couple other cars.
Celebrity? Politician? President Macron?
No one else in the gate area seemed to care, but I closely watched as our aircraft finally landed and taxied to the gate.
Shortly thereafter, a man in a military uniform hopped out of one of the cards and proceeded up the stairs to the jet bridge. Another man in a suit, who appeared to be the driver of the black sedan, stepped out and nervously began dusting the exterior of the car.
The uniformed man returned along with a police officer and the VIP: blonde-haired woman smartly dressed in black jeans, a white blouse, white athletic shoes, and a white jacket with epaulets.
Four men followed behind her.
She was directed to the backseat of the Peugeot, where she sat down alone while a security guard and driver sat in the front. The other men climbed into the cars behind her.
The man in uniform (what branch?) watched as she drove away.
And that was that.
I looked up the top French government officials and did not see an exact match, though perhaps it was Barbara Pompili, the Minister for the Ecological Transition or Bérangère Abba, the Secretary of State for Biodiversity? Is there a big government office in Mulhouse? But the mask makes it difficult to tell and I must admit, I’m not up on French politics beyond what I hear on BBC or NPR.
So who can shed light on who I saw?
It was only a Peugeot sedan worthy person…
I figured a Mercedes or BMW would be verboten in France for a government official.
Renault or Peugeot. But it has to be French. No BMW’s or Mercedes etc…
Haha! Came here to say the same.
@ Matthew — It was FCQ.
Lol. I thought she looked familiar.
Perhaps it’s Brigitte Macron?
Not a bad guess.
No Brigitte is a old lady.
Emmanuel Macron is 42 but Brigitte is probably in her 70.
Bérangère Abba visiting the Grand Ventron.
@ Joe. It was Lady Di, I knew this whole thing was a charade!!
The wife of SFO777
This is the best frequent-flyer blog comment I’ve seen in a very long time.
My money’s on Brigitte Macron.
Brigitte is in her early 70s. This woman looks about 30 years younger.
Eva-Maria Llimets, the Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs. The COE is in Strasbourg–ministers frequently use the Europort.
She looks at least 20 years younger than Brigitte Macron.
Hair is too long for the Ms. Macron I think, also too smooth and silky. I was in Lufthansa First and the woman in the center seat was addressed as Your Highness (and her husband was not so she was the royalty) and appeared to be ME. She had a small dog with her so of course I struck up a conversation about the dog which she was delighted to talk about. She said she was going home to UAE (I think, its been two years now) after living in DC for some years. I then spent the first few minutes of the flight googling ME princess going home, ME princess lived in DC. Haha. It is so strange how we are interested in people who are famous only bc of a trick of birth!
I think she might be a swiss federal councillor (collective head of state) Karin Keller-Sutter
No, she has short hair. This woman has longer hair. The mask is making identification even more difficult than normal.
Tiphaine Macron, likely as a presidential family member accompanied by a representative of the Garde Républicaine.
Obviously it was Celine Dion. Someone must have given her wings and made her fly.
“The man in uniform (what branch?) watched as she drove away.”
It is probably “Le Préfet” and the one of the “Département” or the one of the “Région”. They have an uniform but by no mean are policeman or military people in their current function.
On other picture you could identify a “gendarme” of “La gendarmerie”. You know in Amsterdam airport they call them over the public announcement system “Maréechaussée” in french in the dutch language.
It seems it is Alain Charrier.
So in this case a Sous-Préfet, so inferior to a “Préfet” but stil in the “Préfet” world.
France likes all the ceremony about this.
Peter has the correct answer.
There is a propaganda on the ministry site:
She was visting the forest on the 29 of july ?
Were you this day in Mulhouse airport, the 29th of july, Matthieu?
Yes, it was the 29th!
There is a photo gallery on this website and you can see her wearing the same exact outfit from the airport:
I LOVE the world we live in! Our every move is captured. VIP’s are as human as the rest of us, yet they take calculated risk, which everyday citizens have zero understanding of. Its a dangerous world currently. Stay safe and don’t worry… Be Happy.
Barbara Pompili is a good match
On an Air France 380 from IAD to CDG back in 2018, we were all lined up waiting to board when along comes Dr. Ben Carlson and his security detail, headed aboard before the rest of us. Recall he was Trump’s Housing Secretary. I did not see him aboard or after we landed in Paris. Hope that trip complied with the Fly America Act and the requirement for federal employees to fly in coach lol.
You mean Ben Carson right? Not sure who Bern Carlson is.
The president of Europe, Ursula von der Leyen ?
She looks like someone I saw stocking the shelves at Walmart. Really!
Same height, weight and looks.
Queen Mathilde of Belgium