Emmanuel Macron, 39, just won the French presidential election with his wife, Brigitte Trogneux, 64, by his side.


Brigitte cast her vote for her husband in Le Touquet on May 7. The couple, however, met 24 years prior, when the now-First Lady was a married drama teacher and Emmanuel just a 15-year-old kid. They wed in 2007. “Thanks for accepting us, a not quite normal couple,” he said at the ceremony. “Not that I like this adjective very much, but a couple that exists.”

Macron was appointed as economy minister in Socialist president Francois Hollande’s government in 2014. Brigitte decided to end her teaching career a year later to help her ambitious husband. Macron left Hollande’s government in August 2016 after two years, and declared his run for president on November of that year.

By that time, Macron had already begun making his relationship an important part of his public persona. She was an integral part of his stances, and influenced his views on women in politics. Tabloids, however, took the story and ran with it, mocking that fact that the presidential hopeful had married a woman nearly 25 years his senior. This is the same age difference, it should be noted, as Donald Trump and wife Melania Trump, though in that case the man is older.

“Little by little, I came totally under the spell of the intelligence of this young boy,” Brigitte has said of meeting her now-husband in school. “You cannot get rid of me,” Macron recalls telling his then-teacher. “I will come back and I will marry you.”

And when he accepted his bid as the next French president, Macron thanked his wife for her help. “Brigitte, always present, and even more now, without whom I would not be me,” he said. The crowd chanted her name.

Brigitte will carry a role as First Lady but that role is yet to be determined. “She will have an existence, she will have a voice there, a view on things,” Macron has said. “She will be at my side, as she has always been, but she will also have a public role.”

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