By news editor, on 16 February 2012
The Entente Cordiale was alive and well at a prestigious UCL reception held at the French Prime Minister’s residence in Paris on 9 February.
One hundred and fifty UCL alumni, staff, students and supporters were invited as guests of Prime Minister M François Fillon and Mme Penelope Fillon (UCL French 1977) for a celebration of UCL and France.
The residence was a magnificent setting for such an occasion. Completed in 1725, the Hôtel de Matignon was presented as a birthday gift to the Duke of Valentinoise by his father the Count of Matignon. Its ownership and purpose have changed several times over the centuries and it is only since 1947 that it has been the residence of the Prime Minister.
The celebration commenced with speeches from Mme Fillon and UCL’s President and Provost, Professor Malcolm Grant. Mme Fillon welcomed guests to Hôtel de Matignon and spoke fondly about her time at UCL and her pleasure in retaining contact with her alma mater.
Mme Fillon said that it was a “an honour to pay homage to the work of the French Department” and joked “even though they are partly to blame for my being in this house making this speech today”.