Tuesday, January 16, 2007

French sought union with Britain in '56

Absolutely shocking history news out of Europe! The International Herald Tribune is reporting in French sought union with Britain in '56 the almost unthinkable.

From the article, "Would France have been better off under Queen Elizabeth II? The revelation that the French government proposed a union of Britain and France in 1956 — even offering to accept the sovereignty of the British Queen — has left scholars on both sides of the Channel scratching their heads. Newly discovered documents in Britain's National Archives show how a former French prime minister, Guy Mollet, discussed the possibility of a merger between the two countries with Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden of Britain."

Of course, the Sir Eden had the good sense to turn the Mollett down. Had Britain accepted, the French would have lynched Mollett and killed the deal quickly.

And for the French to accept the Queen? The article continues, "Mollet was a socialist, and leftist Frenchmen looked to the execution of their king Louis XVI as one of the crowning achievements of the French Revolution. They would have been unlikely to welcome a foreign monarch with open arms." This is probably why Mollett never mentioned this proposal in his memoirs.

So, what would the new Union Jack have looked like? Would God Save the Queen been altered? Could the French and English have played on the same side of the pitch during the World Cup? Would the new country have been called Frangland? History can be so fun.

1 comment:

Stephen said...

Now there's an interesting idea! I suppose the U.K.'s name would get even longer -- "The United Kingdom of Great Britain, France, and Northern Ireland"?