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June 9, 2014

3

Marché aux Fleurs Reine Elizabeth II

by soundlandscapes

THE FRENCH SELDOM name places after living people but in the case of the Marché aux Fleurs in Paris they’ve made an exception.

Last Saturday, at the end of a three-day State Visit to France which included attending the 70th anniversary commemoration of the D-Day landings in Normandy, Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, Anne Hidalgo, the newly elected Mayor of Paris, and the French Président, François Hollande, visited the Marché aux Fleurs, which has been renamed the Marché aux Fleurs Reine Elizabeth II in her honour.

Marché aux Fleurs

It’s quite a while since I’ve been to the Marché aux Fleurs so I thought I would go along on Saturday and reaquaint myself with this renowned Parisian flower market.

Marché aux Fleurs Reine Elizabeth II

Close to the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris and bordering La Seine, the Marché aux Fleurs, in the Place Louis Lépine, has been here since 1808. Housed in iron pavilions each with a glass roof, the market offers a wide range of flowers, plants, shrubs and garden accessories as well as other hidden treasures.

Marché aux Fleurs Reine Elizabeth II

Sounds of the Marché aux Fleurs Reine Elizabeth II:

Marché aux Fleurs Reine Elizabeth II

I arrived at the market shortly after the Queen had left and so, on this beautiful sunny day, I was able to walk around unencumbered by the restrictions surrounding Royal visits.

Marché aux Fleurs Reine Elizabeth II

I spoke to some of the stallholders and they seemed delighted with the Queen’s visit and with the new name of the market. I also came upon two young ladies clutching an iPhone who were particularly excited since they had just found a photograph of themselves meeting the Queen on a French Television website.

Marché aux Fleurs Reine Elizabeth II

Not everyone is happy with the new name though. Some on the Left said it was ‘ridiculous’ that an unelected monarch was getting such an accolade in a republic that executed most of its royals more than 200 years ago.

Marché aux Fleurs Reine Elizabeth II

At the entrance to the market next to the Paris Préfecture de Police, where earlier the Queen had unveiled a street sign with the new name of the market, I discovered that work was well underway deconstructing the paraphernalia that had been erected for the unveiling ceremony. The four white, padded chairs that moments ago had hosted distinguished bottoms were now stacked on top of each other looking rather forlorn as if contemplating their fate.

Marché aux Fleurs Reine Elizabeth II

In my next blog piece I will reveal what happens to the Marché aux Fleurs on Sunday mornings when the flowers and plants take a back seat and the market is transformed into the Marché aux Oiseaux, the bird market.

In the meantime, here are some more sights of the Marché aux Fleurs Reine Elizabeth II.

Marché aux Fleurs Reine Elizabeth II

Marché aux Fleurs Reine Elizabeth II

Marché aux Fleurs Reine Elizabeth II

Marché aux Fleurs Reine Elizabeth II

Marché aux Fleurs Reine Elizabeth II

Marché aux Fleurs Reine Elizabeth II

Marché aux Fleurs Reine Elizabeth II

Marché aux Fleurs Reine Elizabeth II

Marché aux Fleurs Reine Elizabeth II

Marché aux Fleurs Reine Elizabeth II

Marché aux Fleurs Reine Elizabeth II

Marché aux Fleurs Reine Elizabeth II

Marché aux Fleurs Reine Elizabeth II

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The Queen visiting the Marché aux Fleurs Reine Elizabeth II

Image via PA

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3 Comments Post a comment
  1. hmunro
    Jun 10 2014

    What a beautiful tour you’ve created of this lovely spot in Paris! Although I can sympathize with some Parisians’ distaste for (re)naming it after a monarch, I think it’s a lovely tribute both to the Queen and to Britain, a country with which France shares a deep and rich history. Loved your recording too, and catching little snippets of everyday conversations. Nicely done.

    Reply
    • Jun 13 2014

      Thanks Heather. This market is always a bit special, especially at this time of the year. I thought it was worth going to in the wake of the Royal visit since the Queen is unlikely ever to visit it again. Another little piece of history for my archive.

      Reply

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