This Thursday, September 10, Édouard Philippe was present at the funeral of Antoine Rufenacht in Le Havre. To say goodbye to his friend, he was accompanied by his wife.

She couldn’t help but support him. This Thursday, September 10, Édouard Philippe said goodbye to one of his dearest friends. In Le Havre, the funeral ofAntoine Rufenacht, former mayor of the city, who died five days ago at the age of 81. A heartbreak for many residents, politicians and for Edward Philippe, who had a special relationship with him. On the announcement of the death of his mentor, he had also paid him a poignant and pointed tribute. “Tu duca, tu signore, e tu maestro”, he wrote in the caption of a photo ofAntoine Rufenacht. Edward Philippe so used a quote from Dante – “You are my guide, my lord and my master” – to pay homage to his friend. A few days later, it was with his face masked and his eyes cloudy that the former Prime Minister went to his funeral.

For this day of mourning, he was accompanied by his wife. Usually very rare in public, Edith Chabre indeed wanted to support her husband for this painful moment. Like him, other political figures have made the trip: in particular Alain Juppé, Bernard Cazeneuve, Sébastien Lecornu or even Christian Jacob, Hervé Morin, Yvon Robert and Valérie Fourneyron. The family ofAntoine Rufenacht was also present. His wife Liselote was surrounded by three children of the couple, Charles, François and Caroline, their eight grandchildren and the twin sister of the former mayor of Le Havre, Isabelle. As reported News, no eulogy was pronounced, in accordance with the wishes of the deceased. “While he knew his death was near, Antoine Rufenacht took care to ask all the hospital staff if they had received a box of chocolates”, explained the pastor.

A special relationship

“I am very sad. There was a filial relationship between us. All the people of Le Havre feel the emotion of a great loss: Antoine was a very elegant man; he impressed without intimidating”, reacted Edward Philippe in the columns of JDD the day after the death of his mentor. Before becoming his friend, Antoine Rufenacht was former minister of Raymond Barre (1976-1978), deputy for Seine-Maritime (1975-1976, 1978-1981 and 1986-1995), and in 1995 won the town hall of Le Havre, which was a stronghold of the Communist Party. Until 2010, he took care of this city he loved so much before giving way to the former Prime Minister. “He could be my son”, he said in 2017 about the former prime minister.

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© ALAIN GUIZARD

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Edouard Philippe and his wife
Funeral for Antoine Rufenacht in Le Havre on September 10, 2020.

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Edouard Philippe and his wife
Funeral for Antoine Rufenacht in Le Havre on September 10, 2020.

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Edouard Philippe and his wife
Funeral for Antoine Rufenacht in Le Havre on September 10, 2020.

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Edouard Philippe and his wife
Funeral for Antoine Rufenacht in Le Havre on September 10, 2020.

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Edouard Philippe and his wife
Funeral for Antoine Rufenacht in Le Havre on September 10, 2020.

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Edouard Philippe and his wife
Funeral for Antoine Rufenacht in Le Havre on September 10, 2020.

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Edouard Philippe
Red carpet for the opening ceremony of the 46th Deauville American Film Festival. September 4, 2020

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Edouard Philippe
In Matignon, Paris, July 3, 2020.

© Ludovic Marin

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Antoine Rufenacht
During the tribute ceremony to Prefect Erignac and the inauguration of Place Claude-Erignac in Ajaccio

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Antoine Rufenacht
Public meeting of Nicolas Sarkozy, candidate for the presidency of the UMP in Caen, November 10, 2014.

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Antoine Rufenacht
Portrait