First lady’s big role in husband’s future plans

French President elect Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Trogneux celebrate on the stage at his victory rally
Picture: Christian Hartmann / REUTERS

As his drama teacher, Brigitte Trogneux directed Emmanuel Macron’s stage debut at the age of 15.

As his wife, she coached him during his presidential campaign.

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

Macron often refers to his wife, who is 24 years his senior, as his intellectual soulmate and confidante.

The 39-year-old says he will govern more effectively if he is happy and that means having Brigitte at his side.

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

During his campaign, he announced that he wanted the position of first lady to be defined.

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.

Brigitte’s main interest is expected to be education and working for disadvantaged and autistic children.

She was married and a mother of three when Macron fell in love with her as a schoolboy.

Macron has become stepfather to Brigitte’s daughter, Tiphaine, and sons Sebastien and Laurence, although he is about their age.

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