Newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron’s wife, Brigitte Trogneux, who is 24 years older than him, is anticipated to take on a key role championing education and working for disadvantaged children in the new government….reports Asian Lite News

Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Trogneux greet supporters in front of the Louvre Museum in Paris, France (Xinhua/Chen Yichen)

As First Lady, Trogneux will assume a powerful role that Macron’s aides compare to that of US former first lady Michelle Obama during her time in the White House.

Besides his breakthrough win, Macron, 39, has also gained fame for his marriage due to the age difference between him and his wife, who is 64-years-old and is a grandmother of seven children.

US President Donald Trump, 70, and his wife Melania, 46, have the same age difference.

Trogneux is Macron’s ex-teacher who directed his stage debut in a school play at the age of 15.

She went from being Macron’s teacher to his partner, and eventually his wife. Through each phase, she has been his mentor, coach and adviser. She was constantly by his side during his campaign, managing his agenda, editing his speeches and advising him on his stage presence.

Mindful of the spectacular downfall of Francois Fillon, the conservative former presidential favourite, over allegations that he gave his wife a “fake job” as his parliamentary adviser, Macron has promised Trogneux a staff, a budget and responsibilities — but no salary, media reports said.

During his campaign, Macron announced that he wanted the position of First Lady, which has no official status in France, to be defined and codified.

His plan to give his wife an influential role reflects his insistence that half of his movement’s candidates in next month’s parliamentary elections are women.

“She will have an existence, she will have a voice there, a view on things. She will be at my side, as she has always been, but she will also have a public role,” he said.

Macron describes himself as “a convert to feminism” and has pledged to defend equal pay and maternity leave, the Telegraph reported.

Emmanuel Macron (Xinhua/Jose Rodriguez)

Macron was just 16 when he vowed to marry mother-of-three Trogneux — and his parents even tried to put a stop to the schoolboy love affair, according to a new book.

He was true to his word and following Trogneux’s divorce in 2006 they tied the knot in 2007.

Trogneux hails from a wealthy family that owns a chocolate factory in Amiens, a northern French town. She taught French literature and Latin in high school.

The unusual love story has captivated French tabloids and magazines, and emerged as a major storyline during Macron’s rapid rise towards the Elysee Palace, with both husband and wife hitting back at critics, said media reports.

When Macron was appointed economy minister in Socialist President Francois Hollande’s government in August 2014, Trogneux resigned from her teaching job a year later to help her ambitious young husband.

At the economy ministry, she was a discreet presence during meetings with officials in the modernist Bercy building by the Seine in eastern Paris.

“She spends a lot of time here because her view matters to me, because she brings a different atmosphere, that is important. My life is here, you cannot work well if you are not happy,” Macron said in his last staff meeting after he resigned from the Hollande government in August 2016.

Trogneux’s three children — Sebastien, Laurence and Tiphaine — are reported to have a good relationship with their stepfather Macron and were seen campaigning for him in T-shirts bearing “En Marche!”, the name of Macron’s party.

In April, the presidential frontrunner told BMFTV that he decided at a young age not to have any children of his own.

“We have chosen not to have children. A choice that was not selfish for me,” he told BMFTV.



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