What do we read, well years ago, I discovered this magazine called Point de Vue, it was created in March 1945 at the end of the second world war in Paris by Officers of the Free French Forces under General De Gaulle who would later become the President of France.
It was initially a magazine about professional photography by the great names of photography and was quite popular in photographic circles, winning recognition for the quality of its photo-journalism.
Many of the founding circle of this magazine were senior French Army Officers, turned politicians, author, film makers and member of the French intelligentsia. Many were married to well known artists. The initial idea of Point de Vue was to present after the war years the renewal of France under a new elite promoting Republican ideals from a centre to right of centre political point of view. www.pointdevue.fr
In such circles, if you look at the names of the individuals, you see quite a few people belonging to the old French Aristocracy, the Orleans and Bourbon families are well represented, adding to that group the Bonaparte Family and other Royals. A very strange mix of old and new regime. Which often leads me to believe that France is not really a Republic because of its still close association in various Official circles with the Families of the Ancien Regime, an example the Académie Française. The French Revolution abolished in 1791 all rights and privileges of the Aristocracy in France but in 1852 under Emperor Napoleon III, all those rights were re-established and are part today of the French Legal System, in France your title means something.
In 1952 Point de Vue presented a special edition dedicated to the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II which sold at 900,000 copies. The editors then decide to focus on the Crown Heads of Europe and present photos of social events dedicated to them. They find a new public who is fascinated by such reporting and articles on the lives of European Royals. In a way it is an early version of People’s magazine, but it is exclusively dedicated to the Aristocracy and the Gotha, a French word meaning people who belong to the financial and political elite in society. In 2016 monthly the magazine sold 200,000 copies, it is only published in French.
Today Point de Vue is all about what is considered the best in Art, fashion, interior decoration, members of the Aristocracy in Europe and their lives and social events. The editor is Adélaide, Duchesse de Clermont-Tonnerre who is the grand-daughter of the Princess of Orleans and sister to the Comte de Paris (Heir to the Throne of France). It is a magazine read by many including people in the Diplomatic Service, it is useful gossip to know, since you might bump into someone with a name at a function. It is one of those magazine you look through and read quickly, the photos are still wonderful. If you are bored you can play the game of name that Royal or what medal or order are they wearing. Who is married to whom and what were the circumstances of the divorce, was it scandalous? You will also notice in the articles that the jobs occupied by Royals who are not currently at the head of their country is usually in Investment Banking, for women they study in general Arts fields waiting to marry of course another Royal. Everyone is loving, happy, surrounded by a wonderful family, rich in history and tradition and dressed in great style, looking dignified. The only ones who do not exactly fit that picture are the Grimaldi Royal Family of Monaco, scandal is their middle name. Spain came a close second, until Cristina the sister of King Felipe of Spain was booted out of the family when her ex-soccer player husband went to jail for embezzlement.
A recent edition had a spread on the wedding of the Prince of Hanover and another one on Prince Jean-Christophe Napoleon Bonaparte who is the great-great nephew of Napoleon I. He is also Head of the Bonaparte Family. In recent years articles and photos have appeared on the German Imperial House, the Hohenzollern, who are still very much part of the social scene in Germany. Other notables the Austrian Imperial House, the Hapsburg, Spain, Belgium, Norway, Denmark and Sweden often appear in Point de Vue. Monaco is a favourite and other less known Royals like Greeks, Romanian, Serbian or Italian Houses are mentioned often because they are cousins with the British Royals or Spanish Royals. The articles are all written to give the reader the impression that despite the fact many European countries are now Republics since 1945, many would prefer to return to a Monarchic system, that is fanciful thinking by the editor and her team.
Point de Vue is the sort of magazine you read when you want to forget the grubbiness of life and dream of a different world.