Monday 11 December 2017

Macron 'defied parents' to marry his ex-teacher

French presidential election candidate for the En Marche movement Emmanuel Macron, right, and his wife Brigitte Trogneux. Photo: Getty Images
French presidential election candidate for the En Marche movement Emmanuel Macron, right, and his wife Brigitte Trogneux. Photo: Getty Images

Richard Balmforth, Paris

French would-be president Emmanuel Macron defied orders from his parents to end a schoolboy romance with a teacher who was 24 years his senior - the woman he married and who will become first lady if he is elected next month, a new book says.

When Mr Macron was a young teenager, his father told Brigitte Trogneux, a married mother of three, to stay away from his son until he reached 18 years of age, according to the book.

"I cannot promise you anything," a tearful Ms Trogneux replied. The relationship continued and the couple married in 2007 after Ms Trogneux divorced her husband.

Mr Macron's relationship with Ms Trogneux has inspired intensive coverage by glossy magazines.

The publication of 'Emmanuel Macron: A Perfect Young Man' adds to the picture in the last weeks of a tight presidential race in which he is a favourite.

The latest publication seemed unlikely to have much, if any, impact on the 39-year-old's election chances.

But the detail of Mr Macron's romance, which began at a Jesuit college in the provinces where he was a teenage schoolboy and Ms Trogneux a teacher, is sure to capture the public imagination in the final days before an election where one vote takes place on April 23, with the run-off on May 7.

He was about 16 at the time and she was in her late 30s. The romance blossomed when he studied drama with Ms Trogneux, the book said.

Journalist Anne Fulda, who interviewed Mr Macron, his wife and both of his parents for the book, said they had been shocked to discover their teenage son, rather than pursuing her daughter, was pursuing Ms Trogneux herself.

Mr Macron's mother later confronted Ms Trogneux saying: "Don't you see. You've had your life. But he won't have children with you."

Fulda wrote: "Emmanuel's parents were keen on emphasising that they did not lodge a complaint for corruption of a minor."

Ms Trogneux remained discreet about the origins of the affair. "Nobody will ever know at what moment our story became a love story. That belongs to us," she was quoted as saying, while Mr Macron said: "People find it difficult to accept something that is sincere and unique."

Irish Independent

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