Simone Veil, whose death last year prompted an outpouring of emotion across the country, is only the fifth woman to be buried at the vast domed structure that dominates the Left Bank of the River Seine. She was accompanied by her husband Antoine, a high-ranking civil servant who died in 2013.
A widely respected figure across the political divide, Veil was the first female leader of the European Parliament and the recipient of France’s highest distinctions, including a seat among the “Immortals” of the Académie française, the august body that presides over the French language. But she is best remembered for pushing through legislation that legalised abortion in France despite fierce resistance from a parliament dominated by men.
The Panthéon ceremony begins at 11am Paris time (9am GMT)