Authon (France) (AFP)

The funeral of former President of the Republic Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, who died Wednesday at the age of 94 from Covid-19, began Saturday morning in the strictest family privacy in Authon (Loir-et-Cher), noted an AFP journalist.

In the cold and humidity of a Saturday morning in December, the funeral convoy, accompanied by two vehicles of the gendarmerie, arrived at 10:30 am on the small square, between the town hall and the village church.

In a silence barely disturbed by the church bell and the clicking of cameras, the coffin was covered as soon as it left the hearse by two flags, one French, the other European, before being transported to the small church in front of which sprays of flowers, mostly white, were lined up.

About forty people - family and close circle - attend mass.

A reduced gauge imposed by health measures but which corresponds to the "desire and will" for privacy of the former president, as his son Henri Giscard d'Estaing confided on Friday.

"According to his wishes: + the music will be part of the ceremony to accompany the flight of the soul +", it is specified in a document distributed on Saturday to the press and describing the course of the ceremony.

We learn that three renowned musicians have been brought together for the occasion: the soprano Karine Deshayes with Roland Pidoux on the cello and Alexandre Kantorow on the piano.

They will perform six pieces, starting with Chopin's sonata n ° 3, slow movement, and ending with Le Chant du Départ.

The ceremony will be celebrated by the Bishop of Blois, Mgr Jean-Pierre Batut, and Mgr Jean-Michel Di Falco-Leandri, while the homily will be delivered by Don Stéphane, of the parish of Montoire, it is specified in the document.

"VGE", who presided over France for a single term, from 1974 to 1981, died Wednesday evening of the Covid-19, surrounded by his family in his property in Authon, a small village of Loir-et-Cher .

The former president will be "buried next to his daughter Jacinte, who died in 2018", it is specified on the course of the ceremony.

And therefore on private land belonging to the family, near the Authon cemetery.

"Those who wish will be able to pray to his grave as soon as the evolution of health constraints allows it", it is added to the document.

During an address to the French on Thursday, Emmanuel Macron decreed a day of national mourning on Wednesday in tribute to this "central figure in the history of our Republic".

© 2020 AFP