Nothing is more important to whoever happens to occupy the office of President in the Élysée Palace than the perception, at home and abroad, that they have upheld the honour and dignity of France. To Emmanuel Macron, the G7 summit that concluded on Monday in Biarritz was exactly what he needed to kick-start the second half of his troubled mandate.

There was something for everyone. Macron opened the gathering – an annual event that in recent times has suffered from a sense of irrelevance amounting almost to vacuity – with an impassioned attack on the Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro for his alleged role in burning the Amazonian rain forest. The following day he mounted a spirited defence of his wife, Brigitte, aged 66, after it was revealed that the Brazilian had compared her unflatteringly with his own third wife, 37-year-old Michelle.