• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

French woman wins right to marry dead fiancé

Ben McPartland · 28 Feb 2014, 10:26

Published: 28 Feb 2014 10:26 GMT+01:00

In a few weeks time a heartbroken French woman will stand alone before the mayor of her village for what will be an emotional ceremony, the likes of which are rarely seen.

It was revealed this week that after an agonising wait the woman, named only as Pascale, from the town of St Omer in northern France has finally been granted her longstanding wish by France's head of state, to marry her former partner Michael posthumously.

The pair, who were together for six and half years, were initially due to get married in June 2012, but just one month before the ceremony, Michael suffered a heart attack and died.

Stricken with grief Pascale vowed to carry on with her plans.

“Although he is gone, he is still my man,” Pascale told France Television this week.

She decided to make use of a little known and seemingly strange French law that allows someone to marry a dead person in special circumstances.

Pascale’s job was to convince the President of France that her’s was a special case and that her love for Michael went beyond the grave.

It took four letters to the president and 20 months of waiting, desperately hoping for a positive response.

“I wrote with my heart, I went beyond just simple words and it was accepted,” she said.

In a few weeks time she will stand alone before the mayor of her town with a photo of her former partner, in what will no doubt be an emotional ceremony.

But despite the pain she will finally be able to begin mourning.

“I will be his wife, I will carry his name,” she said.

(Pascale and Michael - Photo: Screengrab France TV)

The legislation that allows posthumous marriages stems back to when a dam burst in 1959 and killed 420 people in southern France.

Story continues below…

A pregnant woman who lost her fiancé was so upset President Charles de Gaulle penned a law allowing them to be married. However, the authorities require proof the couple planned to marry before one of them died.

Despite the legislation existing for many years, posthumous marriages in France are fairly rare events, with around 50 taking place each year.

Do you agree with a law that allows you to marry a dead partner?

SEE ALSO - From pigs to trouser-bans: France's strangest laws

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
French priest murderer: He was a 'gentle' child
Photo: AFP

French police have formally identified the second attacker who killed a priest in northern France on Tuesday. And his mother has said he was her "gentle child".

Johnson hails France in Paris (while speaking French)
French Foreign Minister Jean Marc Ayrault (R) shakes hands with Britain's Foreign Minister Boris Johnson (L). Photo: AFP

VIDEO: A British Foreign Minister who speaks French. Fancy that.

Should you really go to the Bayonne Festival?
A bullfighter and a crowd at this year's festival. Photo: AFP

Should people boycott the Bayonne festival in France because it features bullfighting? Many think so.

Le Thought du Jour
Sorry Donald Trump, but 'France IS still France'
Photo: AFP

Donald Trump reckons 'France is no longer France', because his friend said so. We don't agree.

France to create new National Guard 'to protect its citizens'
Photo: AFP

France will soon have its own National Guard the president announced on Thursday as he aims to boost security to protect the French population facing repeated terror attacks.

French teens storm police barracks in hunt for Pokemon
Photo: AFP

The arrival of Pokemon Go in France has landed people in all sorts of trouble.

Corsican militants warn 'Islamist radicals' over attacks
Photo: AFP

Militants warn violent extremists that any attack would be met by a "determined response".

Shareholders revolt sees French exec's pay slashed
Photo: AFP

Renault cuts its CEO's salary after a revolt from shareholders.

Priest killing: 'France was warned about attack threat'
French political leaders attend a memorial mass for the slain priest. Photo: AFP

French authorities had reportedly been warned that the second terrorist behind Tuesday's cold-blooded murder of a priest was ready to act.

Fêtes de Bayonne
France's wildest festival gets underway amid tight security
Festival goers in Bayonne - a sea of red and white. Photo: AFP

Over the coming days around a million revellers are expected at what is arguably the wildest, most raucous and most colourful event in France.

Sponsored Article
5 reasons to try dating in Paris with The Inner Circle
France: A timeline of terror since the Charlie Hebdo attack
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
A timeline of terror in France since Charlie Hebdo
Culture
Thirteen free and easy ways to learn French
Culture
32 mistakes foreigners make when they arrive in France
National
Here are the worst scams to avoid whilst driving in France
Analysis & Opinion
Isis can simply be a conduit for the violent desires of psychopaths
Features
Six outdoor bars in Paris you simply must visit
Culture
The open-air Villette cinema has been cancelled over security fears
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Culture
Henri Rousseau exhibition proves huge hit in Paris
National
Frenchman caught trying to sell Nice massacre souvenirs online
Society
OPEN NOW: Here's why you should head to the Paris Plages
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Culture
What's on in France: Still plenty to see and do in July
Lifestyle
Treasures of Versailles to go on display in Australia
National
How to keep cool during France's heatwave
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Nice attack: What we know so far
National
Nice attacker: Body-building, drug-taking, violent flirt
National
IN IMAGES: Drawings in tribute to Nice attack victims
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Society
Promenade des Anglais: The iconic heart of the French Riviera
France faces more questions after latest deadly attack
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
Why is France the target of choice for jihadist attacks?
National
Nice truck attack: 'Bodies went flying like bowling pins'
Nice attack: Families of missing make pleas on Twitter
Politics
Boris Johnson cheered and booed at Bastille Day party
2,759
jobs available