Thursday 14 December 2017

Meet the potential French first lady - How presidential frontrunner Emmanuel Macron fell for his teacher as a teenager

French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron (R) and his wife Brigitte Trogneux arrive for a state dinner in honor of King Willem and Queen Maxima of The Netherlands at the Elysee Palace in Paris on March 10, 2016. AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND GUAY / AFP / BERTRAND GUAY (Photo credit should read BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images)
French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron (R) and his wife Brigitte Trogneux arrive for a state dinner in honor of King Willem and Queen Maxima of The Netherlands at the Elysee Palace in Paris on March 10, 2016. AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND GUAY / AFP / BERTRAND GUAY (Photo credit should read BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images)
French presidential election candidate for the En Marche ! movement Emmanuel Macron (R) and his Brigitte Trogneux react during a meeting at the Parc des Expositions in Paris, on April 23, 2017, after the first round of the Presidential election. / AFP PHOTO / Patrick KOVARIK (Photo credit should read PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images)
French presidential election candidate for the En Marche ! movement Emmanuel Macron kisses his wife Brigitte Trogneux (L) on stage at the Parc des Expositions in Paris, on April 23, 2017, after the first round of the Presidential election. / AFP PHOTO / Eric FEFERBERG (Photo credit should read ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images)
French presidential election candidate for the En Marche ! movement Emmanuel Macron (R) and his wife Brigitte pose for the photograph, on April 22, 2017, in Le Touquet, northern France, on the eve of the first round of presidential election
French presidential election candidate for the En Marche ! movement Emmanuel Macron (R) and his wife Brigitte pose for the photograph, on April 22, 2017, in Le Touquet, northern France, on the eve of the first round of presidential election
French presidential election candidate for the En Marche ! movement Emmanuel Macron (R) and his wife Brigitte Trogneux sit on a chairlift on their way to the mountain top for a lunch break during a campaign visit in Bagneres de Bigorre on April 12, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Eric FEFERBERG (Photo credit should read ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images)
French presidential election candidate for the En Marche! movement Emmanuel Macron's wife Brigitte Trogneux (C) poses on the TV set prior to a debate organised by the French private TV channels BFM TV and CNews, between the eleven candidates for the French presidential election, on April 4, 2017 in La Plaine-Saint-Denis near Paris. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Lionel BONAVENTURE (Photo credit should read LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images)
French presidential election candidate for the En Marche movement Emmanuel Macron (L) and his wife Brigitte Trogneux (R) attend an event organised by the collective "Elles Marchent" (They Walk in feminine in French), during International Women's Day on March 8, 2017, in Paris. / AFP PHOTO / Eric FEFERBERG (Photo credit should read ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images)
Founder and president of the political movement "En Marche !", and former French Economy Minister, Emmanuel Macron (R) and his wife Brigitte Trogneux arrive at the Saint-Sulpice church to attend a service for the funeral of French businessman Henry Hermand, on November 10, 2016 in Paris. / AFP / MARTIN BUREAU (Photo credit should read MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
Former French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte applaud a speech during a meeting of his political movement, 'En Marche' (On the Move), on October 11, 2016 in Le Mans, northwestern France. / AFP / JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER (Photo credit should read JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP/Getty Images)
French Minister of Economy Emmanuel Macron (R) and wife arrive for the State Dinner Offered By French President Fran?ois Hollande at the Elysee Palace on June 2, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
French presidential election candidate for the En Marche ! movement Emmanuel Macron (R) and his wife Brigitte Trogneux pose during a campaign visit in Bagneres de Bigorre on April 12, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / - (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron first met his wife of 10 years when he was just 15 years old.

Mr Macron (39), who is now emerging as the frontrunner to take the presidency over National Front leader Marine Le Pen, fell for his wife Brigitte Trogneux when he was in school and she was his drama teacher, proclaiming he knew then he would marry her.

Ms Trogneux (64) was married with three children at the time and a supervisor of the drama club in a private school in Amiens, where Mr Macron studied in the same class as his teacher's daughter.

"At the age of 17, Emmanuel said to me, 'Whatever you do, I will marry you!'," she told Paris Match magazine last year.

French Minister of Economy Emmanuel Macron (R) and wife arrive for the State Dinner Offered By French President Fran?ois Hollande at the Elysee Palace on June 2, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
French Minister of Economy Emmanuel Macron (R) and wife arrive for the State Dinner Offered By French President Fran?ois Hollande at the Elysee Palace on June 2, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

In a tv documentary, she revealed he was determined to woo her and she didn't think of him as a teenager, describing him as having a "relationship of equals with other adults".

"Little by little, he overcame all my resistances in an unbelievable way, with patience," she said.

"He wasn't a teenager. He had a relationship of equals with other adults."

It's unclear when exactly their relationship began as the grandmother-of-seven is quoted as saying in a new book by Le Figaro journalist Anne Fulda that they will keep that private.

French presidential election candidate for the En Marche ! movement Emmanuel Macron (R) and his wife Brigitte pose for the photograph, on April 22, 2017, in Le Touquet, northern France, on the eve of the first round of presidential election
French presidential election candidate for the En Marche ! movement Emmanuel Macron (R) and his wife Brigitte pose for the photograph, on April 22, 2017, in Le Touquet, northern France, on the eve of the first round of presidential election

"Nobody will ever know at what moment our story became a love story. That belongs to us. That is our secret," she said.

For the book Emmanuel Macron: A Perfect Young Man, Fulda interviewed Mr Macron's parents Jean-Michel and Francoise, who said they "couldn't believe it" when they learned about their relationship.

"What is clear is that when Emmanuel met Brigitte we couldn't just say: 'That's great!' Don't you see. You've had your life. But he won't have children with you," the book says, according to Reuters.

It is unclear when exactly the romance turned into a full-blown love affair. Fulda wrote: "Emmanuel's parents were keen on emphasizing that they did not lodge a complaint against Brigitte Auziere (Trogneux's married name) for corruption of a minor."

Former French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte applaud a speech during a meeting of his political movement, 'En Marche' (On the Move), on October 11, 2016 in Le Mans, northwestern France. / AFP / JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER (Photo credit should read JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP/Getty Images)
Former French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte applaud a speech during a meeting of his political movement, 'En Marche' (On the Move), on October 11, 2016 in Le Mans, northwestern France. / AFP / JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER (Photo credit should read JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP/Getty Images)

Mr Marcon then blamed the the "misogyny" of those expressing disapproval at his marriage. "Nobody would call it unusual if the age difference was reversed. People find it difficult to accept something that is sincere and unique," he said.

Earlier this week, the politician said he doesn't "hide her" and she has been pictured alongside him in recent weeks as the election heats up and she arrived on stage with a congratulatory kiss as he won first place in the first round of elections.

"She's here in my life, she has always been," he said.

Last month, Mr Macron said his wife will play an essential role as first lady if he moves into Élysée Palace.

French presidential election candidate for the En Marche ! movement Emmanuel Macron (R) and his Brigitte Trogneux react during a meeting at the Parc des Expositions in Paris, on April 23, 2017, after the first round of the Presidential election. / AFP PHOTO / Patrick KOVARIK (Photo credit should read PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images)
French presidential election candidate for the En Marche ! movement Emmanuel Macron (R) and his Brigitte Trogneux react during a meeting at the Parc des Expositions in Paris, on April 23, 2017, after the first round of the Presidential election. / AFP PHOTO / Patrick KOVARIK (Photo credit should read PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images)

"I owe her an enormous amount because she has contributed to make me the person I am," he told crowds.

"If I'm elected, no, sorry, when we are elected, she will be there, with a role and a place."

French presidential election candidate for the En Marche ! movement Emmanuel Macron (R) and his wife Brigitte Trogneux sit on a chairlift on their way to the mountain top for a lunch break during a campaign visit in Bagneres de Bigorre on April 12, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Eric FEFERBERG (Photo credit should read ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images)
French presidential election candidate for the En Marche ! movement Emmanuel Macron (R) and his wife Brigitte Trogneux sit on a chairlift on their way to the mountain top for a lunch break during a campaign visit in Bagneres de Bigorre on April 12, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Eric FEFERBERG (Photo credit should read ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images)

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