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Marcelle, 113, is France's new 'doyenne'

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09:22 CEST+02:00

The 'doyenne', the name given to the oldest known living woman in the country, has passed to 113-year old Marcelle Narbonne, a former typist who still enjoys a glass of champagne.

She takes over from the previous doyenne, Mathilde Aussant, who died on Saturday morning. She was also 113 years old, but a month older than her successor.

Narbonne was born on March 25th 1898 in the town of Isserville, 60 kilometres from Algiers. 

Car company Renault was founded in the same year as her birth. 

At the time, the country was still in the grip of the Dreyfus Affair, a political scandal over treason that split the country. In that year that the writer Emile Zola wrote his famous J'accuse letter in support of the wrongly-accused officer, Alfred Dreyfus. 

She has lived to see 19 presidents and nine popes and was already 70 by the time France had its student uprisings of May 1968.

She now lives in a retirement home in Argelès-sur-mer, in the south of the country, and as well as enjoying champagne is fond of chocolate eclairs and poetry. 


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