Hero sailor Jean le Cam among France's July 14 honours list

Actress Laetitia Casta and French-American choreographer Carolyn Carlson were also among the 467 people honoured for their services to the nation in this July 14 legion d'honneur list

14 July 2021
Sailor Jean le Cam, actress Laetitia Casta, sailor Yannick Bestaven, and philosopher Edgar Morin. Hero sailor Jean le Cam among France's July 14 honours list

Clockwise from top left: Sailor and Vendee winner Yannick Bestaven, actress Laetitia Casta, sailor Jean le Cam, and philosopher Edgar Morin Pic: Thomas Koch / Thomas Pajot / Jaguar PS / Shutterstock / Neel Trimarans / Twitter / Jean-Marie Liot / Alea

By Hannah Thompson

France has revealed its légion d'honneur list for July 14, with sailor Jean le Cam, philosopher Edgar Morin, and the actress Laetitia Casta among the 467 people honoured.

The term ‘légion d'honneur’ actually refers to five different levels of accolade in order of honour, from chevalier (knight), up to officier (officer), to commandeur (commander), to grand officier (grand officer), and the highest of the high, grand’croix (grand cross). 

This year, there were:

  • Grand’croix: 2
  • Grand officier: 2
  • Commandeur: 17
  • Officer: 53 
  • Chevalier: 393

The official list was published in Le Journal officiel today (Wednesday, July 14).

Notable figures on the list

Grand’croix

  • Edgar Morin, philosopher, who celebrated his 100th birthday on July 8
  • Alain Mérieux, industrial biologist, founder of the Institut Alain Mérieux

Grand officier

  • Pascal Lamy, honorary president of the Institut Jacques Delors and former director of the World Trade Organization

Commandeur

  • Carolyn Carlson, French-American choreographer and member of l'Académie des beaux-arts
  • Didier Lallement, Paris police prefect
  • François Sureau, lawyer, writer, and member of l'Académie française

Chevalier

  • Roger Cohen, British-American journalist, Paris correspondent journalist, for 42 years of service
  • Jean Le Cam, sailor, who delayed his own race success to help rescue fellow Vendée Globe competitor Kevin Escoffier after his boat split in two 
  • Laetitia Casta, actress
  • Jean-Pierre Pernaut and Harry Roselmack, TF1 journalists
  • Yannick Bestaven, winner of the Vendée Globe sailing race 2020/2021
  • Marcel Lascar, founder of medical emergency and doctor service SOS Médecins 

The July 14 list is one of two published each year in France. The other is published on January 1.

The Légion d'honneur accolade is the highest honour available in France. It was founded by Napoléon Bonaparte in 1802.

Today, there are more than 92,000 members who have been recognised for their services to the nation.

July 14 is France’s fête nationale, known in English as ‘Bastille Day’. 

It is traditionally marked with a military parade, military events honouring the armed forces, and fireworks. Last year, the event was significantly scaled-down due to Covid, and this year, some towns and cities have cancelled their celebrations due to the Delta variant. 

Read more: Military parade but no fireworks: How France is celebrating July 14

The traditional Paris military parade went ahead however, and fireworks are scheduled to take place from the Tour Eiffel later today.

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