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IN IMAGES: Royal's bold photoshoot backfires

Dan MacGuill · 24 Oct 2013, 13:20

Published: 24 Oct 2013 13:20 GMT+02:00

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Ségolène Royal, Socialist candidate for president in 2007, and former partner of current Socialist president François Hollande, has “gone bold” in her latest venture into the public eye on Thursday.

She appears dressed as no less than Liberty Leading the People, from the iconic revolutionary painting of the same name by  Eugène Delacroix, for a cover feature in this week’s Parisien magazine.

The theme of the blockbuster interview, which already has tongues wagging ahead of its release on Friday, is courage.

“Dare, Mister President!” reads the headline, as Royal holds forth on being bold in politics, and rates the respective ‘cojones’ of French politicians: Sarkozy, not so much, Hollande, “history will do him justice.”

“Pioneering politicians are never understood in their own time,” she muses. Asked whether she includes herself in that hallowed group, she demurs, but adds: “people did tell me a lot in 2007 that I was too advanced for my era.”

“France wasn’t ready yet to imagine a woman as president,” she adds.

The original: 'La Liberté guidant la peuple' (1830), by Eugène Delacroix

In bare feet and a toga, brandishing a large tricolour, however, it has to be said that Royal looks distinctly uncomfortable in her iconoclasm, like someone following an ambitious photographer’s instructions rather than revelling in her own 'courageous' instincts.

“I’ve already heard people say that I think I’m Joan of Arc!” she says in the interview.

Perhaps. But Royal certainly has been compared to many other people on Thursday. Her daring, it seems, has backfired badly, with a series of Photoshop parodies appearing on Twitter under the hashtag #RoyalDelacroix.

Here are a few of the best…

Street Fighter:

With the 'King of the World':

One of the crueler parodies (there are a few out there):

Story continues below…

Interrupting a very important moment: 

Joining in the "Hollande Jump"

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Dan MacGuill (dan.macguill@thelocal.com)

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