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Far right French MP accused of stealing aristocratic surname

Three members of the Tascher de la Pagerie family have launched legal proceedings against the Bouches-du-Rhône MP Emmanuel Taché de la Pagerie 

Joséphine de Beauharnais was a member of the Tascher de la Pagerie family Pic: MarkauMark / Shutterstock

A new Rassemblement National MP for Bouches-du-Rhône’s sixteenth constituency has been accused of adopting an aristocratic surname which does not belong to him.

Three members of the Tascher de la Pagerie family have initiated legal proceedings against Emmanuel Taché de la Pagerie, 47, accusing him of having stolen their name. 

Their lawyer, Frédéric Pichon said: “My clients, who come from Normandy but live in Paris, are the only people to inherit and bear this name since the death of their father in 1993. 

“It was his last wish for them to protect his name.”

“Firstly, it is Tascher and not Taché. It is a very rare family name which died out in the masculine line with the death of my grandfather in 1993. He is usurping our name because it is prestigious,” a member of the family said.

Although the spelling of the two names is different, the Tascher de la Pagerie family are concerned about “a risk of significant confusion”. 

“This is a public usage of a family name which is protected by French law,” Mr Pichon added.

“No civil document allows Mr Taché to claim this addition to his name. 

“While it was being used as a personal name, there was no problem, but now there are leaflets, posters, articles everywhere. 

“This conflation engenders an obvious risk of confusion and harms the family.” 

Mr Taché de la Pagerie’s lawyer Alexandre Varault, for his part, has accused the plaintiffs of a “political” manipulation, claiming that “the use of this name has been public for several decades. 

“It is perfectly normal in the world of the arts and public relations to use a nom de plume or a preferred name. 

“The only restriction is that it is impossible to pass this preferred name on to one’s descendants.”

Mr Taché de la Pagerie was born Emmanuel Taché in Montreuil in 1975. He told Le Monde that ‘de la Pagerie’ has been “written on his passport for the last 30 years” and that he “doesn’t have time to waste on this type of matter”.

A court hearing has been called for July 8, with the plaintiffs calling for Mr Taché de la Pagerie to stop using the name and be fined €500 for each day that he continues to do so. They also ask for a symbolic €1 in damages. 

Who are the Taschers de la Pagerie? 

The Tascher de la Pagerie family line has seen several dukes and barons, as well as the wife of Napoléan Bonaparte, Joséphine de Beauharnais, who was born Marie Josèphe Rose Tascher de La Pagerie. 

The family also counts among its members Marcelle Tascher de la Pagerie, a countess who served in the Swedish court. 

What marks out an aristocratic French name?

Names which contain a ‘de’, ‘la’, ‘d’’ or ‘du’ are known as ‘noms à particule’ and are often associated with the French nobility, although this is not always the case in reality.

You can read more about the origins of such names in our article here:

What does ‘de’ mean in a French surname: Is it a sign of nobility?

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