Just before the election of her husband Emmanuel Macron, 64-year-old (at that time) Brigitte Tronier jokingly remarked in one of her interviews that she very much expects to win in the 2017 elections: “After all, in 6 years I will be 70”. Macron's wife has never hidden her personal ambitions: after the elections, which, of course, will be won by Emmanuelle, she intends to lay the ground for the future official position of the First Lady of France …
In July 2016, being the finance minister in François Hollande's team and having almost no chance of realizing his own political ambitions, 38-year-old Emmanuel Macron nevertheless decided to hold his first rally. As a venue for the event, the politician chose a fashionable area on the left bank of the Seine.
A couple of hours before the crowds arrived, Emmanuel rehearsed in front of his team, members of his own political movement, En marche, a movement neither right nor left, but one that, according to Macron himself, could radically change the entire policy of the Republic. “We are the party of hope,” the politician declared to his few listeners.
Periodically, Macron's speech was interrupted by an imperious female voice, inserting remarks like "Watch your voice, do not lower it." It was the voice of Brigitte Macron, giving advice to her husband, just like a theater director to a young actor. Later still he politely asked her: “Darling, tell me what is wrong with the speech. Too long sentences? ", And then, without hesitation, admits already in front of whole crowds of people:" Brigitte always says that my speeches are too long."
The talent of Emmanuel Macron's wife in the field of theatrical art, honed during her work as a stage director at the school theater, played a central role in the subsequent deafening performances of the future favorite of the presidential race. So as soon as Macron entered the Elysee Palace in triumph, the politician immediately set out to reward Brigitte according to all the rules. Namely - to grant her a special political status as the First Lady of France, despite the obvious skepticism on the part of the nation (read more: "Much ado about nothing: how Brigitte Macron did not please the French").
Before Macron, not a single elected president went to this, but Emmanuelle is determined: today Brigitte's activities are regulated by a special Charter of Transparency, but it is not even an hour when the Macron couple will convince the French that they definitely need such a First Lady as Bribri can be.
Emmanuel promised that the position of First Lady "will not be paid with taxpayers' money," but nevertheless stressed: "If you are elected president, then the person who lives with you still has to play some role."
The significance of the First Family for Brigitte and Emmanuel is obvious: in 2014 - during the scandal surrounding François Hollande's betrayal of his partner - Macron served as deputy chief of staff at the Elysee Palace. Both witnessed how Hollande's deceived girlfriend, journalist Valerie Trierweiler, published a poisonous story about all the details of the president's personal life, which irrevocably lowered his status in the eyes of ordinary French people. So it is important for both Emmanuel and Brigitte to show the voters that marriage is sacred for them. And voters (and especially female voters) appreciated this (read also: Emmanuel Macron: the new dream of French women).
What Brigitte does not want to focus on is the 25-year age difference with Emmanuel. She is now 67 years old. Before her husband was elected to the presidency, she worked as a teacher of Latin and French literature in a private Jesuit school and did not hide the fact that Emmanuel himself had once been her student.
Like her husband, Brigitte Tronier, known as “Bribri”, was born in the town of Amiens in the north of France and also comes from a bourgeois family who owned famous local pastry shops scattered throughout the city. At the age of 20, she married the banker Andre-Louis Ozier, in marriage with whom Brigitte gave birth to three children. Before studying to be a teacher and getting a job at a prestigious Jesuit school, she worked as a press attaché at the Chamber of Commerce in Pas-de-Calais.
Brigitte first met Emmanuel when the young man was 15, and her middle daughter studied with him in the same class. The future lovers became close during the production of a theatrical play: Emmanuel was an aspiring actor, and Brigitte directed the drama club (read: "The story of the wrong love of Brigitte and Emmanuel Macron").
“I never considered him my student,” Brigitte once admitted to the writers Caroline Derrier and Candice Nedelek, who published a book about the famous couple “Les Macron”. When word began to circulate about the relationship between the teacher and the student, Emmanuel's parents sent the boy to a prestigious lyceum in Paris. But love, as they say, is not subject to either time or distance.
More than ten years later, the lovers got married. Their wedding took place at the town hall in the fashionable beach resort of Le Touquet, where Brigitte inherited a luxurious villa that today serves as a second home for the couple.
During the wedding speech, Emmanuel thanked Brigitte's parents and children for supporting their union. The young groom admitted that although he and his beloved are not a "normal couple", they are still a "real couple." Brigitte herself today has seven grandchildren. They don't call Emmanuel a grandfather, of course, but they call him with affectionate English "daddy".
For the first time, Brigitte was in the spotlight in 2014, when her husband was appointed to the post of Minister of Finance in the Socialist government of François Hollande. It is interesting that she did not give up her teaching activity in one of the best Catholic schools in Paris, saying only one phrase to her students: “You will hear a lot of things - both the truth and lies. But I will never talk about it."
A year later, Brigitte still left school, stating that she wanted to devote herself to her husband's career. She immediately began to attend planning meetings and in a short time became an integral part of the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry, knowing everything about the affairs of the institution.
Emmanuel Macron answered the questions of surprised journalists only: “Her opinion is important to me,” implying that the constant presence of his wife with him is not subject to discussion.
As the wife of the minister, Brigitte, madly in love with literature and theater, constantly attended all cultural events in Paris. She helped her husband to acquire connections, managing even once in one evening to organize two social events. With the start of the presidential race, her support for her husband only increased, and, according to one insider from Macron's team, Brigitte still stands behind him like a mountain.
Today Macron actively brings his wife out and allows the paparazzi to photograph them together and publish thousands of their pictures in newspapers and magazines. France has not seen such behavior, when a politician himself actively talks about his personal life, since the time of Nicolas Sarkozy, who decided to "imitate the Kennedy couple" in relations with his ex-wife Cecilia.
For the Macron couple, joint photographs in the press became a way to draw public attention to the person of the once ordinary minister. Magazine covers with photos of the couple walking hand in hand on the beach on vacation broke all circulation records, attracting the attention of ordinary citizens far from politics. And it worked. More and more people began to talk about the Minister’s not quite traditional relations, and gradually interest in Macron as a politician woke up even among skeptics (read: “How Brigitte Macron inspired mature women to start seducing”).
Brigitte and Emmanuel Macron - a photo session on the eve of the first round of elections
True, at the same moment rumors spread that the Minister of Finance, with the help of marriage with Brigitte, was hiding the fact that he was a homosexual. The journalists, of course, did not find any evidence. And Macron himself, on the contrary, benefited from this situation, accusing his opponents of "homophobia" and "misogyny towards women of mature age."
"If I were 20 years older than my wife, no one would have said a word about the legality of such a relationship," Macron told reporters for Le Parisien. "People say that our relationship is unreasonable just because my wife is older."
French economist Marc Ferazzi, who was the best man at the couple's wedding and is currently a member of Macron's team, described their relationship as follows: “Yes, they are not quite a traditional couple. But they fell in love with each other 20 years ago, and since then their feelings have only grown stronger. Their story is very simple, and you have to accept the fact that people can just fall in love and so much that their love will never fail."
Brigitte herself is not silent either. At a rally in Strasbourg, for example, she stated that her place was always next to her husband. “I have always been by his side. For 20 years. It's strange that you are constantly surprised that spouses can always be with each other. In this case, the time has come for a change,”summed up the wife of the then presidential candidate. Well, it seems that in May 2017, France received not only the youngest president in history, but also one of the most politically active and ambitious First Ladies.
Short dossier: Brigitte Macron, wife of Emmanuel Macron
Age: 67 years old
Date of birth: April 13, 1953
Career: Lecturer in French literature and Latin at private Catholic schools in France. Head of the school theater.
Peak of popularity: Brigitte performed on stage with her husband after he led the first round of the presidential elections in France, and his supporters chanted: “Brigitte! Brigitte!"
Failure: disapproval from her older siblings of her decision to leave her first husband. Brigitte later admitted that soon her family fully supported her relationship with Emmanuel.
Brigitte on Emmanuel: "I was fascinated by his mind."
Emmanuel O Brigitte: “We have a non-classical family, that's right. But there is no less love in our family."
Photo: Getty Images
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