The great Lebanese-American poet Kahlil Gibran said; “Think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course”
This applies to the great romantic relationship between Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron. The President of France and the First Lady of France. Theirs, is an example of love against all odds.
When the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, was proclaimed France’s new president in 2017, he became the country’s youngest President at the age of 39.The former investment banker, had never contested an election and had only formed his centrist movement a year before the 2017 French election. Many saw him as a determined young man with a talent and passion for politics.
There he was, a youthful looking man, intelligent and successful in his own right, leading a main European nation. Everyone was also eager to meet Mrs Macron, aka the new “French First Lady”.
Being 39, many thought she probably was a young woman his age. Also, considering Mr Macron was a man of power, no-one would blink an eye if she was in her twenties. After all, he was young, successful and charming. Instead, to the surprise of many, France new leader was already married to a woman named Brigitte Trogneaux.
They had been married for 10 years when he became president. And to the surprise of many, she was 24 years older than him.A lot of people in France, did welcome the breath of fresh air that was seeing a powerful man breaking with a pattern; that of powerful older men with much younger partners and usually actresses or models.
When they settled in The Elysee Palace– the official residence of the President of the French Republic- she was 64 and him 39. Exactly the same age she was, when they first met. It was at La Providence, a private school in Amiens, that 15 year old Emmanuel Macron became romantically interested in his then 39-year-old drama teacher.
But there was a problem, she was married with 3 children, and not interested at all considering he was barely a boy.Both his parents and Brigitte herself tried to stop him and what they all thought was just teenage infatuation.
You don’t became the president of France without strong will, knowing exactly what you want, and persistence, and it seems that Mr Macron has always been a strong willed person.Despite Brigitte rejecting him and even his parents forbidding contact between the two of them, he persisted. This was not a young person who could be easily persuaded not do do something he wanted. He apparently was an intellectually gifted teen with ideas of his own.
Ms Brigitte Trogneux admitted to a friend years later: “The day when we wrote a play together, I had a feeling I was working with Mozart”. He persisted so much that she eventually fell in love with him too. That was many years later and when he was already in his 20’s and had finished University and had the opportunity to date any girls his age he fancied at University.
However, his feelings for Brigitte grew, they didn’t diminished as he went from boyhood into adulthood. He could have chosen anyone, but he chose her. Eventually when he was 29 and she was 54, they got married. So far for the Macrons, it has been 14 years of happily ever after.
In this day and age of throw away relationships, the fact that they have been married that long surely says something. On another, more banal observation, the now French First Lady looks fantastic. Elegance, charm, style, charisma and beauty are forever. You either have it or you don’t. Same as talent. You can study music as much as you like but you will never be Mozart unless you are born with that musical gift .
Mrs Macron has that ‘something’ that makes a person stand out. The French say “Je ne sais quoi” to refer to this appealing and innate quality a person has. Love is a feeling that has nothing to do with the date of birth on your birth certificate, it is a rare thing to happen so when it happens, just let it be regardless of what we have been told is right or wrong.
This married couple has opened a positive debate about ageism, sexism and what a present day First Lady should look like. That is definitely a positive change towards equality and the way we see a modern marriage.
The initial obsession with their age gap is no longer an issue, but it was an example of misogyny since men in positions of power like Mr Macron, are frequently married to much younger women.Not all of them and not anymore.