Macron’s wife praised for mentor role
As Emmanuel Macron’s drama teacher, Brigitte Trogneux (pictured) directed his stage debut in a school play when he was 15 and, as his wife, she coached and advised him during his successful presidential campaign.
The centrist candidate crushed the Front National’s Marine Le Pen, winning 65 per cent to her 35 per cent.
As France’s new first lady, the 64-year-old will assume a powerful role that Macron’s aides compare to that of Michelle Obama. During the campaign, Macron denied rumours that he was gay.
Macron, 39, talks of her as his intellectual soulmate and confidante. Macron has promised Trogneux a staff, budget and responsibilities, but no salary, in apparent reference to failed candidate François Fillon’s “fake job” for his wife Penelope.
The current president, François Hollande, faced criticism for giving his ex-girlfriend, the journalist Valérie Trierweiler, an Elysée office and a staff, without providing her a defined role.
Macron says that he wants the position of first lady, which has no official status in France, to be defined and codified.
Trogneux’s main interest is expected to be education and working for disadvantaged and autistic children.
Alix Bouilhaguet, the author of a recent book on the partners of presidential contenders, said Trogneux put Macron under scrutiny as he rehearsed the lengthy speeches the French expect from a president.
“She was always elegant, often wearing tight jeans and a dark jacket, somehow managing not to look out of place among his campaign team, although their average age appeared to be around 25,” Bouilhaguet said.
She was married with three children when he fell in love with her as a child in Amiens in northern France.
Their affair scandalised the community and Macron’s parents sent him to study in Paris but they they eventually married in 2007.
He is stepfather to Brigitte’s daughter, Tiphaine, and sons Sébastien and Laurence, although he is about their age and Brigitte’s seven grandchildren call him “Daddy”, says Fulda.
“He had only one girlfriend of his own age and these two relationships are the only ones he has ever had with women, which is quite exceptional today,” said Anne Fulda, Macron’s biographer.
Facing the glass pyramid at the Louvre, France’s youngest president told supporters: “Tonight France has won. Everyone told us that it would be impossible but they did not know France.
“You have chosen audacity and this is what French people and the world are waiting from us. They want France to surprise them and they want France to be itself and this is exactly what we are going to do.”
Picture credit: YouTube