07/11/2012 02:30 pm ET

Francois Hollande Is Short Standing Next To Guard Of Honor (PHOTOS)

French President Francois Hollande is making his first official visit to the United Kingdom this week, and while his British counterpart, Prime Minister David Cameron, said he and Hollande found "much common ground," the two leaders clearly did not see eye-to-eye for one simple reason:

Francois Hollande is short.

Hollande's stature came to the attention of British and French press when he appeared next to the Guard of Honor from the 1st Battalion of the Coldstream Guards. Commenters on a website featuring the photos taken by Agence France Presse mocked the 5-foot-7-inch Hollande, saying, "Dwarfs rule the world," among other remarks about the president's height.


Others noted that Hollande's 5-foot-5-inch predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy, went to great lengths to conceal his true height, including standing on tiptoes and wooden platforms and wearing stacked heels.

In a further twist of irony, the British battalion that brought about Hollande's height-Waterloo achieved its most significant military act in the defeat of another famously short French leader: Napoleon Bonaparte, at the Battle of Waterloo.

Hollande, however, faces a tall order in his new role; the president's challenges ahead include reducing the national debt, signing a new drone deal with the U.K., and figuring out how to kick-start his country's economy.

Check out the photos that started it all, as well as pictures of Hollande standing next to other British leaders.