France’s First Lady Brigitte Macron recently opened up about her marriage to much younger French President Emmanuel Macron, whom she taught in high school. According to The Independent, Ms Brigitte met Mr Macron when he was 15 and she was his 39-year-old drama teacher at a catholic school in northern France. Now, in a rare interview, she opened up about her marriage’s controversial beginnings and revealed how entering a relationship with her now-husband was initially “crippling” due to their 24-year-old age gap.
“For me, such a young boy was crippling,” she told Paris Match, as per The Independent.
Mr Macron was 15 when he fell for his drama teacher. The schoolboy’s parents initially believed that their son was dating his teacher’s daughter until the truth came out and he was sent off to a boarding school in Paris. “Emmanuel had to leave for Paris. I told myself that he would fall in love with someone his [own] age. It didn’t happen,” she said.
The two kept in touch, but for a while Ms Brigitte tried to keep some distance between them so as not to “wreck” the lives of her own children, who were close to Mr Macron’s age. “That lasted 10 years, the time to put them on the rails. You can imagine what they were hearing,” she said, adding, “But I didn’t want to miss out on my life”.
Ultimately, the couple tied the knot in 2007. Mr Marcon, at the age of 29, became a stepfather to Ms Brigitte’s three adult children.
In the interview, Ms Brigitte said that her children were the “obstacle” that caused her to wait a decade before marrying Emmanuel Macron. “I took time so I would not wreck their lives. That lasted 10 years, the time to put them on the rails. You can imagine what they were hearing. But I didn’t want to miss out on my life,” she said.
Further, praising her husband, Ms Brigitte said that his sharp intellect still surprises her every day. “I have never seen such a memory … such an intellectual capacity. I had many brilliant pupils, and none had his capability. I have always admired him,” she told the outlet.
Emmanuel Macron won the French presidential election in May 2017. He became France’s youngest-ever president at the age of 39 – the same age that his wife, now 64, was when they met.
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