A newly elected member of parliament from the renewed far-right National Coalition of Marine Le Pen has been sued by the descendants of one of France’s oldest aristocratic families, who accuse him of adding their name to his own.
Emmanuel Taché de la Pagerie, 47, was one of dozens of National Rally MPs voted in the National Assembly on Sunday, with his official identity verified and approved by local authorities in the southern city of Marseille.
Born as Emmanuel Taché in the working-class suburb of Paris, Montreuil told Le Monde this week that he added “de la Pagerie” to his passport 30 years ago, when he was working in fashion and television before entering politics.
“It’s perfectly normal in the fields of art and communication to use a pseudonym or a preferred name. “The only limitation is that you can not pass it on to your children,” said Alexandre Varaut, Taché de la Pagerie’s lawyer.
He said the use of the name by his client “has been known to the public for several decades”.
The Tascher de la Pagerie family line died in 1993, but three descendants sued the MP this week, claiming their historic name had been appropriated.
The most famous member of the family was Empress Joséphine de Beauharnais, who married Napoleon Bonaparte in 1796. Her full name was Marie Josèphe Rose Tascher de La Pagerie.
Although not illegal under French law, the use of aristocratic names can be a serious issue.
Critics of former President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing have spoken of his grandfather gaining the noble particle “de” (“his”), although few have ever done so for the other public Charles de Gaulle.
It was an unwelcome controversy for Taché de la Pagerie’s party a few days after it made a major parliamentary breakthrough.
“We have lodged a complaint to protect the family name,” Frederic Pison, the three women’s lawyer, told AFP, adding that the hearing would be set for July 8.
They are asking for a symbolic compensation of one euro and a fine of 500 euros per day if Emmanuel Tase continues to use their name.
“The fact that he is at the National Rally or in France without bowing or in the Republic on the move is not the problem,” he said, referring to President Emanuel Macron’s far left and center.
He said the aristocratic name was rare and noted “a risk of confusion in the eyes of the public”, even though the Taché / Tascher spelling was different.
“My clients are from Normandy, but they live in Paris and they are the only heirs to have had this name since their father died in 1993 – and one of his last wishes was to have his name protected,” Pison said. .
Emmanuel Taché de la Pagerie did not respond to requests for comment, but told Le Monde that once elected, “I have no time to lose in such things.”