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The remarkable relationship of Brigitte and Emmanuel Macron

On France's national holiday, the focus of the nation will be on its president - and his very special wife, Brigitte

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French President Emmanuel Macron (L) and his wife Brigitte Macron wave goodbye to Ecuador's President and his wife after a meeting at the Elysee Palace on July 11, 2019, in Paris. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP)

French President Emmanuel Macron (L) and his wife Brigitte Macron wave goodbye to Ecuador's President and his wife after a meeting at the Elysee Palace on July 11, 2019, in Paris. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP)

French President Emmanuel Macron (R) and his wife Brigitte arrive at the Villa Kerylos for a state dinner with China's President on March 24, 2019 in Beaulieu-sur-Mer, near Nice on the French riviera. (Photo by JEAN-PAUL PELISSIER / POOL / AFP)

French President Emmanuel Macron (R) and his wife Brigitte arrive at the Villa Kerylos for a state dinner with China's President on March 24, 2019 in Beaulieu-sur-Mer, near Nice on the French riviera. (Photo by JEAN-PAUL PELISSIER / POOL / AFP)

France's President Emmanuel Macron (C) and his wife Brigitte (L) pose for a group photo during the G20 Summit in Osaka on June 28, 2019. (Photo by Dominique JACOVIDES / POOL / AFP)

France's President Emmanuel Macron (C) and his wife Brigitte (L) pose for a group photo during the G20 Summit in Osaka on June 28, 2019. (Photo by Dominique JACOVIDES / POOL / AFP)

French President Emmanuel Macron (L) and his wife Brigitte Macron stand in front of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Strasbourg, eastern France, during a military ceremony as part of the celebrations of the centenary of the First World War, on November 4, 2018

French President Emmanuel Macron (L) and his wife Brigitte Macron stand in front of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Strasbourg, eastern France, during a military ceremony as part of the celebrations of the centenary of the First World War, on November 4, 2018

French President Emmanuel Macron, his wife Brigitte Macron, King Felipe VI of Spain and his wife Queen Letizia arrive to visit the retrospective of works by Spanish painter and sculptor Joan Miro (1893-1983) at Paris's Grand Palais, in Paris, France, October 5, 2018. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

French President Emmanuel Macron, his wife Brigitte Macron, King Felipe VI of Spain and his wife Queen Letizia arrive to visit the retrospective of works by Spanish painter and sculptor Joan Miro (1893-1983) at Paris's Grand Palais, in Paris, France, October 5, 2018. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte arrive  for the state dinner at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen on August 28, 2018. (Photo by ludovic MARIN / AFP)

French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte arrive for the state dinner at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen on August 28, 2018. (Photo by ludovic MARIN / AFP)

Brigitte Macron, the wife of French President Emmanuel Macron, Danish Crown Princess Mary and Education Minister and Youth Affairs Jean-Michel Blanquer visit the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, June 24, 2019. Jacques Demarthon/Pool via REUTERS

Brigitte Macron, the wife of French President Emmanuel Macron, Danish Crown Princess Mary and Education Minister and Youth Affairs Jean-Michel Blanquer visit the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, June 24, 2019. Jacques Demarthon/Pool via REUTERS

French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron applaud as France players arrive to attend a reception to honour the France soccer team after their victory in the 2018 Russia Soccer World Cup, at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, July 16, 2018.   REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron applaud as France players arrive to attend a reception to honour the France soccer team after their victory in the 2018 Russia Soccer World Cup, at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

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French President Emmanuel Macron (L) and his wife Brigitte Macron wave goodbye to Ecuador's President and his wife after a meeting at the Elysee Palace on July 11, 2019, in Paris. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP)

The French always put on a good show for their national holiday, tomorrow, and at the centre of proceedings will be their dazzling president, Emmanuel Macron. Along with his renowned wife, Brigitte.

Madame Macron is not the First Lady: the French people rejected conferring on her that American-style title. But she remains "essential" to her husband, in his words, and is involved in everything he does.

The background to their relationship has been forensically examined by a witty French writer, Sylvie Bommel, in a book recently published in Paris, Il venait d'avoir dix-sept ans. ("He had just turned 17.") The circumstances were striking: he was 17, she was over 40, married and with three children. And however unorthodox their coupledom, the Jesuit order has consistently stood by them - Brigitte taught at Jesuit schools, and Macron attended one.


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