Watch back: National day of mourning in France as nation remembers former President Jacques Chirac

French President Emmanuel Macron stands in front of the flag-draped coffin of late French President Jacques Chirac during a military funeral honors ceremony
French President Emmanuel Macron stands in front of the flag-draped coffin of late French President Jacques Chirac during a military funeral honors ceremony Copyright REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
Copyright REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
By Lauren Chadwick
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The Elysée declared Monday a National Day of Mourning in France.


Former French President Jacques Chirac is being honoured with a national day of mourning, military honours, and funeral service in Paris.

The Elysée declared Monday, September 30 a national day of mourning in France after the former president, prime minister, and mayor of Paris died on Thursday at the age of 86.

This is the eighth day of mourning under the fifth republic of France. Days of mourning were also declared after the deaths of former presidents Charles de Gaule, Georges Pompidou, and François Mitterand as well.

A private ceremony took place at the cathedral of Les Invalides where Chirac laid in state on Sunday. Chirac's casket left the Hôtel des Invalides at around 11:00 CET.

The funeral service is taking place at the Church of Saint-Sulpice at 12:00 CET in Paris' 6th arrondissement. French people paid their respects during the former head of state's journey from Les Invalides to Saint-Sulpice.

Military honours

Inside the court of honour at the Hôtel des Invalides, French President Emmanuel Macron arrived with Florence Parly, the French Minister of the Armed Forces. Chirac's flag-draped coffin was laid in the middle of the court of honour where the former president received full military honours.

The French national anthem, La Marseillaise, resonated throughout the court before his funeral procession left the Hôtel des Invalides for the Church of Saint-Sulpice.

Funeral service

French Prime Minister Edouard Phillippe greeted those attending the service at the Church of Saint-Sulpice.

Former American President Bill Clinton, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and Italian President Sergio Mattarella were among dozens of world leaders who attended the service.

Former French presidents Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande were also in attendance and greeted by Macron.

Chirac's coffin entered Saint-Sulpice to loud applause from the crowd gathered outside the church in Paris.

The service was led by the Archbishop of Paris, Michel Aupetit, who said during his homily: "Our former president, this warm man supported by his wife Bernadette, had a real love of people. As at ease in the rooms of the Elysée as at the Agriculture Show, many who met him felt seen," Aupetit said.

He also cited Chirac who said in 1980, during Pope John Paul II's visit to Paris, that France "most strongly beats her heart" under the towers of Notre-Dame and under the gaze of the Sorbonne where "so many doctors have taught".

"The recent and dramatic events at Notre Dame have shown us how true this intuition was," Aupetit said.

Notre Dame de Paris's largest bell, le Bourdon, sounded for the first time since the devastating fire on April 15, the cathedral confirmed to Euronews. It was the first time since 1945 that the bell was sounded manually.

At 3:00 pm CET, there was a moment of silence held at the Assemblée Nationale.

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