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Franck Marc Premier, the emperor of Basse Chesnaie

The Empire of Basse Chesnaie is lost in the countryside. It is accessed by a small road. You cross the border without control, leaving two signs on your right indicating that you are leaving France for a foreign land. But not inhospitable. It is the empire of Franck Marc Premier, alias Franck Samson, lawyer at the Paris bar, and of Delphine who, apart from her obligations as empress, chairs a sports association.

Only goal: to laugh

The Empire of Basse Chesnaie was born in 1996 with the sole aim of having a good time, ”says Franck Marc Premier, who is greatly inspired by the First Empire. Far from the harsh and bloody Napoleonic countryside, here everything is fun and light. “The constituent assembly that gave birth to this state was made up of my wife and me. Nobody found anything to complain about, ”continues the one who maintains that his sovereignty is by divine right.

The coronation of the emperor and empress of Basse Chesnaie in 1996 (Photo DR)

In fact, his powers are very extensive. “Recently, I formally forbade the covid-19 to re-enter the empire. The Empress and I contracted this disease. Not here, but in France, where the health situation is really deplorable ”.

Like Napoleon, I wanted to be emperor and king. Nailed it

The governance of the empire is ensured by six great dignitaries, 18 ministers and seven secretaries of state: “Friends”. The most important decisions are the Imperial Prince Octavian and the Grand Prince Imperial Victor, the couple’s two children. “One of them took it into his head to frequent a commoner who had to be integrated into the nobility,” grumbles the Empress.

A real resin crown

The empire is populated by 386 inhabitants who, in their overwhelming majority, had no other option than to choose exile, and to settle elsewhere than on the one hectare plot covered by the microstate. . “Yet in 2008 we got bigger. We conquered the Glénan Islands, territories annexed after bitter struggles ”, proudly announces Franck Marc Premier, ostensibly showing the crown“ in real resin ”, set with shells, which he wears as king of the Archipelago.

Franck Marc Premier, the emperor of Basse Chesnaie
Franck Samson, alias Franck Marc Premier, Emperor of Lower Chesnaie (Photo Didier Déniel)

“Like Napoleon, I wanted to be emperor and king. I got there, ”continues the falsely arrogant one who, for ten years, officiated as Bonaparte lookalike in official historical reconstructions. “I was replaced by someone who does the job very well,” continues Franck Samson. On the other hand, he must not open his mouth. He has a strong Belgian accent ”.

Saint-Bouc works miracles

In the quirky world of the Lower Chesnaie empire, one can also meet Saint-Bouc who grazes peacefully in his enclosure. “He works miracles,” comments the Empress. He can walk on the grass! Some also said they saw him turn grass into dung. But from there to having proof ”.

A fox tried by the imperial court of justice

Keeping an empire alive is not easy. In Basse Chesnaie, for example, around ten decrees, duly drafted, sealed and archived, are issued each year. The Imperial Court of Justice also sits from time to time. In 2014, she tried a fox for devouring one of the judges, an imperial goose. “The goupil was doomed to be struck with Imperial contempt until death ensued. There is no worse sentence ”.

Franck and Delphine Samson have only one motto: “Do things seriously, without taking yourself seriously”. Yet they have an ambitious plan for their empire. They are going to build a chapel dedicated to Saint Samson. What could be more logical. “The plans are in place. We are going to devote 180,000 € to it. My wife and I would like to be buried there ”. A large cross has already been erected in a field at the gates of the empire. And for the record, Google Maps has already integrated the future building on its maps. One more miracle surely …

I never work on weekends. I devote myself to empire and scuba diving

The empire is a big breath for Franck who works all week in Paris. “I never work on weekends. I dedicate myself to the empire and to another great passion, scuba diving ”. Passion which has led him to assume the presidency of the Glénan diving center for ten years.

After the empire, the city council

The lawyer specializing in the highway code, who readily calls himself a monocrat, does not shy away from the joys of democracy. Regularly, in the town hall of Saint-Thual (930 inhabitants), where he resides, he finds with pleasure his chair of municipal councilor. Far from the hectic and sumptuous life of his empire and the great conquests to come.

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