Emmanuel Macron stands over coffin of Jacques Chirac during full military funeral in Paris

A funeral service attended by dozens of world leaders began in Paris on Monday for France’s former president Jacques Chirac, who died last week aged 86.

President Vladimir Putin of Russia and former US leader Bill Clinton were among the mourners at Saint-Sulpice church in central Paris as France held a national day of mourning for its president who served from 1995-2007.

Chirac’s coffin, draped in a French flag, was carried into the church by his former bodyguards while onlookers applauded outside.

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As well as President Emmanuel Macron, other world leaders attending included Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani as well as EU commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker.

Chirac’s widow Bernadette, who is said to be in frail health, attended a private service earlier but was not present at the main ceremony.

Chirac’s immediate successors, Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande, were both present, as, in a rare public appearance, was the third president of France’s modern Fifth Republic, Valery Giscard d’Estaing, 93.

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen, whose father and former far-right chief Jean-Marie Le Pen was an arch-foe of Chirac, opted in the end not to attend after Chirac’s family made known she would not be welcome.

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