FRANCE: Hands Across the Channel

The visit began awkwardly. Charles de Gaulle, President of France, seemed nervous, almost defensive, when he stepped off the train in London's Victoria Station to be greeted by Queen Elizabeth. He was 20 years older and 25 pounds heavier than when he had arrived as an exile in 1940. But to many Britons, De Gaulle was still a symbol of icy authoritarianism, a man both proud and touchy who could satisfy his notions of grandeur only by pointlessly exploding A-bombs in the Sahara. As he and the Queen rode to Buckingham Palace in...

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