Seems like I'm not the only one who noticed ;)
It looks like the old rivalry between England and France is alive and well:
Francois Hollande has been ridiculed in France for allowing himself to look like a "dwarf" alongside the Coldstream Guards – the battalion that won battle honours at Waterloo and then occupied Paris.
During an official visit to London on Tuesday, the French president inspected a Guard of Honour from the 1st Battalion of the Coldstream Guards at the Foreign Office.
He then appeared in photographs alongside Major General George Norton, who looked around two feet taller than the Gallic head of state.
Comments alongside the image on a website of pictures taken by AFP, France's national news agency, suggested Hollande had fallen into a "trap" made to make him look ridiculous.
"Poor France," wrote Jean-Marc Rameau, from Paris, while Dmitri Kovaley mocked Mr Hollande, who is 5ft 7 ins, with the words "Dwarfs rule the world".
There were also references to Gulliver's Travels, while others noted how the 5ft 5 ins Nicolas Sarkozy, Mr Hollande's predecessor, made huge efforts to disguise his small stature.
These included everything from standing on tiptoe and wooden boxes, as well as wearing stacked heels.
"I find it ridiculous, not because of (Mr Hollande's) size, but because he falls easily into the traps that Sarkozy knew how to avoid," wrote another poster under the name 'Councillor De Mist'.
Sebastien Esteve of Marseilles, meanwhile, suggested that Mr Hollande appeared "smaller than Nicolas Sarkozy" alongside the guardsmen, adding the President wore a "badly cut" suit.
Arguably the greatest military achievement of the Coldstreams was the part they played in the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte's army at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
The Coldstreams were part of the 2nd Guards Brigade which famously defended the Hougoumont farmhouse – a key part of the Duke of Wellington's strategy.
Following victory, the regiment then transferred to the French capital, where they humiliated locals further by taking part in the Occupation of the city.
The regiment, the oldest in the regular British Army in continuous active service, defeated the French throughout the Napoleonic Wars, notably in Egypt in the early 19th Century.
Waterloo, which ended Napoleon's reign, is viewed by the French as one their most shameful defeats.
The French dictator became a prisoner of the British on the South Atlantic island of Saint Helena, before dying in captivity in 1821, but he is still glorified all over France as a national hero.
Mr Hollande, a 57-year-old Socialist, has suffered numerous picture disasters since replacing Mr Sarkozy as president last May.
Images include Mr Hollande being soaked to the skin by heavy rain during his official inauguration in Paris.
Mr Hollande spent a short period as an officer in the French Army during a period of national service.----
The little corporal is still with us
In: Other News, Other Entertainment
Tags: francois, hollande, dwarf, midget, coldstream, guards, england, france, ridiculed
Location: London, England, United Kingdom (UK/GB) (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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