Inside the unusual fairy tale of newly elected French President and his wife

Emmanuel Macron resoundingly won France’s landmark presidential election on Sunday, defeating far-right leader Marine Le Pen in a pivotal vote for the future of the divided country and Europe.

The former investment banker will be the country’s youngest-ever leader and faces a huge challenge to heal a fractured and demoralised country.

With Macron’s victory, the country’s first lady is perhaps the most unexpected ever.

Macron’s and his wife’s love story isn’t just any other fairytale. Brigitte Trogneux, was his drama teacher in high school and is 25 years his senior, according to Mirror. He’s 39, she’s 64.

PHOTO: REUTERS

PHOTO: REUTERS

Macron was just 16 when he promised to marry Trogneux who was a married mum-of-three at the time. According to a new book, his parents even tried to put a stop to the schoolboy love affair.

Throughout the campaign Macron, an independent centrist, and Trogneux have been photographed embracing and kissing.

Macron has repeatedly paid tribute to his wife and told his supporters she would play a major role as France’s first lady if he’s elected.

They first met when Trogneux taught Macron when he was a 15-year-old student at a Jesuit college in Amiens.

PHOTO: REUTERS

PHOTO: REUTERS

Revealed in a new book, he defied orders from his parents to end the romance, so much so that his father ordered Trogneux to stay away from his son until he reached 18.

A tearful Trogneux, then known as Brigitte Auziere (her married name), replied: “I cannot promise you anything.”

In a french documentary last year she had said that he wasn’t like the other teenagers in her classes, BBC News reported.

She recalled their budding romance at that time, adding: “I didn’t think it would go very far. I thought he would get bored. We wrote, and little by little I was totally overcome by the intelligence of this boy.”

At 16, Macron’s parents sent him to Paris to continue his studies but he vowed to marry Trogneux, who was around 40.

PHOTO: REUTERS

PHOTO: REUTERS

Trogneux told the documentary, “We’d call each other all the time and spend hours on the phone. Bit by bit, he defeated all my resistance, in an amazing way, with patience.”

The relationship continued after he left for Paris, became an adult and graduated from university. Trogneux joined him in Paris and the couple married in 2007, however, she did not take his name until after she divorced her first husband. The pair have not had any children together.

New details about their romance emerged in journalist Anne Fulda’s timely book, “Emannuel Macron: A Perfect Young Man”.

Macron’s mother was quoted as saying, “We couldn’t believe it. What is clear is that when Emmanuel met Brigitte we couldn’t just say: ‘That’s great!’”

She later confronted Trogneux saying, “Don’t you see. You’ve had your life. But he won’t have children with you.”

PHOTO: REUTERS

PHOTO: REUTERS

In the book, Trogneux was cautious about the origins of the affair.

She reportedly said, “Nobody will ever know at what moment our story became a love story. That belongs to us. That is our secret.”

Macron, who could become France’s youngest ever president, slammed the critics, saying, “Nobody would call it unusual if the age difference was reversed. People find it difficult to accept something that is sincere and unique.

Fulda said the couple once avoided publicity but that changed once Macron started running for president.

She told BBC News: “He wants to give the idea that, if he was able to seduce a woman 24 years his senior and a mother of three children, in a small provincial town… despite opprobrium and mockery, he can conquer France in the same way.”

In November 2016, Macron declared that he would run in the election under the banner of En Marche! , a centrist political movement he founded in April 2016.

Shahid Ghuman
Shahid Ghuman
Shahid Ghuman is versatile journalist. He have 20 years experience in journalism. Shahid Ghuman is not only journalists but also anchor and host of various television programs. He is Editor of CNN POINT.