Britain and France talked about a "union" in the 1950s, even discussing the possibility of the Queen becoming the French head of state, it was reported back in 2007.
On September 10 1956, Guy Mollet, the then French prime minister, came to London to discuss the possibility of a merger between the two countries with his British counterpart, Sir Anthony Eden, according to declassified papers from the National Archives, uncovered by the BBC.
A British cabinet paper from the period reads: "When the French prime minister, Monsieur Mollet, was recently in London, he raised with the prime minister the possibility of a union between the United Kingdom and France."
At the time of the proposal, France was in economic difficulties and faced the escalating Suez crisis. Britain had been a staunch French ally during the two world wars.
The Rothschild banking family of England
According to Wikipedia The Rothschild banking family of England was founded in 1798 by Nathan Mayer Von Rothchild (1777-1836) who first settled in Manchester but then moved to London. Nathan was sent there from his home in Frankfurt by his father, Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744-1812). Wanting his sons to succeed on their own and to expand the family business across Europe, Mayer Amschel Rothschild had his eldest son remain in Frankfurt, while his four other sons were sent to different European cities to establish a financial institution to invest in business and provide banking services. Nathan Mayer von Rothschild, the third son, first established a textile jobbing business in Manchester and from there went on to establish N M Rothschild & Sons bank in London.
Mayer Amschel Rothschild
Intermarriage within the family was an essential part of the Rothschild strategy in order to ensure control of their wealth remained in family hands. From the home base in Frankfurt, Rothschild sons not only established themselves in England but also in Paris, Vienna and Naples in the Two Sicilies. Through their collaborative efforts, the Rothschilds rose to prominence in a variety of banking endeavours including loans, government bonds and trading in bullion. Their financing afforded investment opportunities and during the 19th century they became major stakeholders in large-scale mining and rail transport. ventures that were fundamental to the rapidly expanding industrial economies of Europe.
During the early part of the 19th century, the Rothschild's London bank took a leading part in managing and financing the subsidies that the British government transferred to its allies during the Napoleonic Wars. Through the creation of a network of agents, couriers and shippers, the bank was able to provide funds to the armies of the Duke o Wellington in Portugal and Spain, therefore funding war. In 1818 the Rothschild bank arranged a £5 million loan to the Prussian government and the issuing of bonds for government loans. The providing of other innovative and complex financing for government projects formed a mainstay of the bank's business for the better part of the century. N M Rothschild & Sons financial strength in the City of London became such that by 1825-26, the bank was able to supply enough coin to the Bank of England to enable it to avert a liquidity crisis.
The Rothschild banking family of France
According to Wikipedia The Rothschild banking family of France was founded in 1812 in Paris by James Mayer Rothschild (1792–1868). James was sent there from his home in Frankfurt, Germany by his father, Mayer Amschel Rothschild.
Through their collaborative efforts, the Rothschilds rose to prominence in a variety of banking endeavors including loans, government bonds and trading in bullion. Their financing afforded investment opportunities and during the 19th century they became major stakeholders in large-scale mining and rail transport ventures that were fundamental to the rapidly expanding industrial economies of Europe. In partnership with N M Rothschild & Sons of England they owned Chemin de Fer du Nord railway in France that ran from their Gare du Nord station in Paris to the English Channel. In addition, the Rothschilds in France became leaders in the wine growing industry. By the later part of the 19th century oil was fast becoming an important commodity and the French bank was heavily involved in oil exploration in the Baku area of present-day Azerbaijan through their company, the Caspian and Black Sea Oil Industry and Trade Society established in 1883. Their investment proved to be a lucrative one and by the turn of the century, the various oil companies in Azerbaijan were producing more oil than any country in the world. In 1898 the Rothschilds established the Mazut Transportation Society that developed a fleet of oil tankers operating in the Caspian Sea. In 1911, the Royal Dutch Shell company purchased the Azerbaijan oil fields from the Rothschild family.
Baron David de Rothschild
More than two centuries after his Frankfurt-based ancestor Mayer Amschel Rothschild sent his sons to Paris, London, Naples and Vienna to create what became known as “the world’s banker”, Baron David de Rothschild is set to close the final chapter in the reunification of his sprawling family dynasty.
The 69-year-old chairman of the Rothschild group is bringing together its French and UK assets under the roof of Paris Orléans, a French listed entity with its roots in a 19th-century railway company.
The move will mark the last step in a process that started a decade ago of integrating the French banking operations with NM Rothschild, the UK-based investment bank that rose to fame in 1815 when Amschel’s son Nathan Meyer Rothschild made a fortune buying British government bonds in anticipation of Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo.
The 200-year-old banks will be reunited under a single shareholding that will bring together the fortunes of the French and English sides of the renowned family as they attempt to safeguard the business against the effects of new regulation and the fallout from the global financial crisis.
Paris Orleans, the Rothschild Group's Paris-based holding company, will convert into a French limited partnership, securing the families' control of the bank against potential takeovers. The new partnership will then buy out minority investors in NM Rothschild & Sons, the UK business, as well as outstanding minority interests in the French operations.
The Reuters stated on April 5, 2012 that the family aims to boost regulatory capital at a time when the investment-banking industry is fighting to adapt to tougher regulation and economic slowdown in Europe. David de Rothschild, who will become chairman of the merged group, is quoted by the FT as saying the restructuring would "allow the group to become more competitive against rivals while ensuring the family's control over the group in the long-term."
Mr de Rothschild is a descendant of Baron James de Rothschild, who established the family's Paris-based bank 200 years ago.
Changing the ownership structure is aimed at helping Rothschild meet the Basel III capital standards that will require banks to maintain a minimum core capital ratio of 7pc. Rothschild said its regulatory capital would be "significantly enhanced" through the merger.
According to Telegraph Financial News Paris Orleans has a market value of more than €500m (£415m) and is about 30pc owned by outside investors. Rothschild is offering €17 per share to minority investors, a small premium to the company's current market price.
The Rothschild Group employs 3,000 people in 42 countries and is one of the world's leading independent investment banks, advising some of the largest international companies on capital raisings and mergers and acquisitions.
In addition to investment banking, Rothschild also provides asset management services as well as wealth management advice. The bank also remains a player in the private equity industry and operates several merchant banking operations that invest directly in business across Europe and the rest of the world.
In a break from tradition, two years ago Rothschild appointed Nigel Higgins as its chief executive, marking the first time a non-family member had been given the top job at the bank.