English version

eminence grise

From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englisheminence griseem‧i‧nence grise /ˌemɪnɒns ˈɡriːz $ -nɑːns-/ noun (plural eminences grises) [countable]  someone who has unofficial power, often secretly, through someone else Borusa had no wish to become president, instead preferring to operate as an eminence grise behind the scenes.
Examples from the Corpus
eminence griseThe networks set up by De Gaulle's eminence grise, Jacques Foccart, were replaced or strengthened.
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