President Macron Gives France’s Highest Honor to World’s Richest Man, Bernard Arnault

French President Emmanuel Macron bestowed France’s highest accolade on billionaire Bernard Arnault during a star-studded ceremony at the Elysée Palace on Wednesday night.

Plans for the party were kept under wraps as dozens of A-listers gathered in Paris behind closed doors to honor the LVMH CEO and the world’s richest man, including pop star Beyoncé and fellow billionaire Elon Musk, who had an unannounced one-on-one meeting with Macron just before the event.

Arnault was awarded the Grand Cross of the Légion d’honneur, France’s highest honor of merit. Only 75 people can hold it at the same time, according to the Elysée, as reported by POLITICO.

According to a person close to the president, Macron gave a “very Proustian” address on the concept of time, emphasizing how Arnault has been able to “see and build far ahead,” “tame the jolts of the short term” to “sell a form of eternal Frenchness.”

The president of state also mentioned the LVMH CEO’s “deep roots” in Roubaix, northern France, and his devotion to, among other things, Notre-Dame rebuilding.

The ceremony was attended by prominent French political personalities, including former President Nicolas Sarkozy, EU Commissioner Thierry Breton, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, and Culture Minister Rachida Dati.

A-listers from all over the world attended, including Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Musk, Jordan’s Queen Rania, visual artist Jeff Koons, musician Lang Lang, and billionaires Vincent Bolloré of Bolloré Group and Rodolphe Saadé of CMA CGM.

Musk, the world’s third richest man (according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index), met with Macron to discuss “attractiveness and investments.”

Arnault, the world’s richest man, was advanced to grand officer by former President François Hollande 13 years ago and knighted 28 years ago. He recently reclaimed his title.

Leave a Reply