My Mother: The Knight (and Marc Jacobs) of French


The Acceptance speech. Photo: Fedelma Smith

This is a big old shout-out to ma maman who last week was made by the Ambassador of France to GB a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académique – a Knight for services to education. Woop! She had 15 invites for the ceremony at the ambassador’s residence in Kensington so I did a disservice to education in Scotland, skipped a couple of lectures, and went with my family and some of Máire’s bezzers to watch it all go down. By day my mammy is a specialist of French politics and history at Newcastle uni, mainly feminism and socialism, in the 19th and 20th c. The residence was very plush with a massive tricolor outside; Máire looked awesome in her dress by Helen McAlinden, another bezzer and designer in Dublin. After champers and canapés and photos, the action kicked off. First, the ambassador gave a little speech to introduce each of the ten nominees and he deffo had an extra twinkle in his eye for Máire, telling everyone all about her love of running up mountains and jumping in lakes! He presented her her purple medal on behalf of the French Ministry for Education, and Máire made a speech where she thanked him and the Minister and then I can’t remember what else because I was so excited that it was actually happening and trying to stifle my glee. So there you go! I remember when she became a Prof, didn’t think she could get much better than that, and then she did. Work hard at school, kids. In other news, Marc Jacobs and Nathalie Rykiel became last week Chevaliers des Arts et des Lettres (Knights of Arts and Letters). Proud just doesn’t quite cover it.

Nathalie and Marc on the right, Nathalie's maman Sonia centre-stage. Photo: Getty Images

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