Xavier de La Chevalerie

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Xavier de La Chevalerie, circa 1972

Marie-Emile Xavier Daufresne de La Chevalerie (28 January 1920 – 21 August 2004) was a French diplomat. From 1967 to 1969 he served as Chief of Staff to the President of France, Charles de Gaulle.


Xavier de la Chevalerie was born in Paris on 28 January 1920 to Alyette (née de Beaulaincourt-Marles) and Christian Daufresne de La Chevalerie. He studied at the Lycée Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague in Paris and then at the University of Paris in the faculties of literature and law. After further studies at the École Libre des Sciences Politiques, he began his career shortly before the outbreak of World War II.[1] In 1940 he joined the Free French Forces and served under General Jacque-Phiippe Leclerc in Africa. He subsequently served as a diplomatic aide at the French Embassy in the United States when it re-opened in 1944 following the liberation of France.[2]

After the war, he served in a variety of diplomatic posts, primarily in North Africa, Asia, and the Levant. He and his cousin, Xavier de Beaulaincourt-Marles, who had served as Charles de Gaulle's private secretary since 1948, were part of de Gaulle's close entourage during the period of the so-called politics of grandeur (1960-1968). Many of them, including de La Chevalerie, later served on the administrative council of the Fondation Charles de Gaulle.[3]

From 1961 to 1962, de La Chevalerie served as Chief of Staff to the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, and then held a similar post at the Ministère de la Coopération (Ministry of International Cooperation).[4]

In 1967, he was named Chief of Staff to President de Gaulle and served in that post until 1969 when de Gaulle resigned from office.[5]

Shortly after de Gaulle's resignation in 1969, de La Chevalerie was appointed ambassador to Mexico and resumed his diplomatic career.[6] He subsequently served as France's ambassador to Gambia (1973-1977), Guinea-Bissau (1975-1977), Senegal (1975-1977), Canada (1977-1979), Japan (1979-1982), and the Vatican (1983-1985).[7]

De La Chevalerie was married to Marie-France (née Hislaire), the daughter of the Belgian journalist and writer, René Hislaire.[8] The couple had seven children.[1] Xavier de La Chevalerie died on 21 August 2004 in Saint Nazaire. His wife pre-deceased him in 1985.[1]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Lafitte and Taylor (1997) p. 533
  2. ^ New York Times (23 September 1944)
  3. ^ Chiaradia (2011) pp. 530, 551 and 642; Andrews (1982) pp. 75 and 79
  4. ^ The Ministère de la Coopération was created by Charles de Gaulle in 1959. In 1999, it was incorporated into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  5. ^ Ministère des affaires étrangères (2008) p. 113
  6. ^ Chiaradia (2011) p. 551
  7. ^ Ministère des affaires étrangères et européennes. Liste chronologique des ambassadeurs de France à l'étranger depuis 1945
  8. ^ New York Times (24 August 1951). See also New York Times (23 February 1945).


Further reading