- Brigitte Trogneux, 64, is reportedly keen to become involved in education issues
- First lady is expected to play an active role in her husband’s new government
- However, despite new tasks and staff Mrs Trogneux will not be given a salary
Emmanuel Macron’s ex-teacher wife Brigitte is anticipated to play a key role in the centrist’s new government.
Mirroring a Michelle Obama approach to her first lady role, Brigitte Trogneux, 64, who is more than 24 years older than her husband, is reportedly keen to become involved in issues such as education.
With two decades more life experience than her husband and as the ex-teacher who has shaped his character since the age of 15, the grandmother of eight is expected to play an active role in the new government.
When Mr Macron, 39, worked as finance minister under Francois Hollande, Mrs Trogneux was the person who oversaw her husband’s diary and this role continued once he created En Marche!. She is also said to correct his speeches and act as an intermediary.
But once the Macrons move into the Elysee Palace, Mrs Trogneux who once said she would have preferred that her husband had gone on to become an author rather than work in politics, will reportedly have more on her plate including tasks, staff and a budget – but no salary.
Mr Fillon sensationally fell from grace when a French newspaper reported that he had paid his British wife Penelope hundreds of thousands for a job she never carried out.
The Macrons yesterday voted at the Le Touquet town hall, the place they had married 10 years before.
The unconventional romance started after the pair met when Mr Macron starred in one of Mrs Trogneux’s plays at Jesuit school Lycee La Providence in Amiens, northern France.
They also went on to re-write a play together, which they later admitted was the period when they fell in love. At the time, Mr Macron was just 16.
In an interview with French journalist Anne Fulda, who wrote a book about the politician said: ‘You know, the day we wrote that piece together, I had the impression I was working with Mozart.’
Speaking to French magazine Paris Match, she said: ‘I could feel I was falling, he was too…’, before adding: ‘At 17, Emmanuel told me: “Whatever you do, I will marry you!” Love took everything in its passage and lead me to divorce. It was impossible to resist him.’
Two decades on, she is a crucial calming influence behind the former investment banker.
‘Every night we debrief together and we repeat what we have heard about each other,’ she told Paris Match.
‘I have to pay attention to everything, do the maximum to protect him.’
Ms Trogneux ensures he has ‘downtime’ slots in his schedule, and also encourages Mr Macron to network with France’s society crowd.
According to radio network France Info, on Ms Trogneux’s initiative, the couple have dined with French artists and comedians in a bid to gain popularity amongst the ‘luvvie’ set.
After the first round of the elections last month, Mr Macron was accused of acting as though he had ‘already won’ after he held a ‘bling bling’ dinner at Brasserie La Rotonde near his headquarters.
The event was attended by comedians, actors and singers.
Last night, Mr Macron’s former teacher Christian Monjou, 67, said the former economy minister should be mindful of not looking like a ‘mummy’s boy’.
Describing one picture of the couple, which showed Ms Trogneux standing behind her husband, Mr Monjou, who taught the politician for three years, said: ‘I think that picture was a little detrimental to his campaign because it tended to suggest that he was under the influence of somebody else.
‘In particular, of a mother-like figure and for a president of the republic, this was a little bit dangerous in terms of suggesting that he was not entirely autonomous. There is undoubtedly influence there but it is probably also a stabilising and comforting influence and that’s very positive.’
Mr Monjou said of the fact that Mr Macron brought his wife on stage during his speech after winning the first round: ‘When he asked her to come on stage some people were annoyed with that… A friend of mine wrote to me and said: “We are not electing the first lady, we are electing the president”.
Mr Monjou, who is in regular contact with his former pupil, said he had warned him of appearing too under his wife’s influence.
He said: ‘For me, I have told him, we are not electing the first lady, we are electing the president. He must not appear to be a “mummy’s boy”, there’s a slight danger there…He never replies on that subject.’
The retired teacher added that he did not think Mr Macron would allow his wife to play too central a role in the government.
He said: ‘I think he is possibly conscious of the danger there, I think he would understand there would be a risk, I think he would be conscious not to give into that vulnerability. Some people might pounce on that.’