Yvonne de Gaulle, the widow of French President and war-hero, Charles De Gaulle, died on Thursday (8 November) in Paris at the age of seventy-nine.
Yvonne de Gaulle, the widow of French President and war-hero, Charles De Gaulle, died on Thursday (8 November) in Paris at the age of seventy-nine. In 1978, ill-health forced her to leave her family home in Colombey-Les-Deux-Eglises and enter a nursing home in Paris. Last July she underwent surgery for an undisclosed illness.
SYNOPSIS: Mrs. de Gaulle, known affectionately in France as Aunt Yvonne, was a constant support for the General during almost fifty years of marriage. In 1969 they spent an unheralded holiday in Ireland enjoying the beaches and countryside in almost complete privacy. they met in 1920 over a spilt cup of tea and were married the following year when de Gaulle was an army Captain. Mrs. de Gaulle was at the General's side throughout most his stormy military and political career.
She will be buried next to her husband and their daughter, Anne, in a tomb at Colombey churchyard, near their family home, The tomb has become a place of pilgrimage for many French people who reversed de Gaulle as exiled war leader, Prime Minister and late President of their country. Mrs. de Gaulle was with her husband during his exile in London and Algiers -- returning with him to France at the Liberations.
Following the death of General de Gaulle in 1970, she lived as a virtual recluse at the family home in the eastern French village of Colombey-les-Deux-Eglise. On the Friday (9 November), on the ninth anniversary of the General's death, the house was to be opened to the public. The late President's son, Admiral Philippe De Gaulle, said the house would become a museum dedicated to his father.
"La Boisserie" has fourteen rooms and is situated on about five acres of parkland. The money received from admissions will go towards the upkeep of the house, which so far has cost about twenty thousand dollars (U.S.) a year.