Lors du dernier dîner de gala donné par Hollande en l’honneur de Felipe et Letizia d’Espagne, une femme a volé la vedette à toutes les élégantes de la soirée , Letizia, Nadjat et autres Ségo et Fleur : Brigitte Trogneux, alias Madame Emmanuel Macron. C’était la première fois que l’épouse de notre fringant Ministre de l’Economie foulait un tapis rouge officiel. Comme nous connaissons par coeur cette histoire déjà narrée précédemment, je poursuis en anglais, pour les lecteurs étrangers qui ne connaissent pas encore l’histoire du benjamin de nos ministres.
She looks a bit like Jane Fonda. Brigitte Macron nee Trogneux, 56, had remained the mysterious spouse of our Ministre of Economy, Emmanuel Macron, 36. An unusual romance that fascinates the French public. Discreet, Brigitte finally stepped on the red carpet, as her husband attended the gala dinner given by President Hollande in honour of the Spanish Royals.
- He was 16 , she was …36.
- She left the father of her 3 kids to follow her heart
- Happily married for 20 years
- « Grandfather » of 6 kids
Emmanuel Macron met Brigitte when he was 16. At that time, she was his French teacher at the private high school of La Providence in the Northern pretty city of Amiens. Brigitte is a heiress of the well-known local chocolate and confectionary maker: the Trogneux family.
Emmanuel ‘s classmates remember that he preferred to discuss with their teachers, rather than with young people of his age. During class breaks, he would seek the company of older teachers for more serious discussions . At La Providence, his stage theater teacher happens to be Brigitte Trogneux. The teenager dreams about becoming an actor. Brigitte loves his writing and happily shares his literaty works by reading aloud his poetry to the class. Better, she refers to him « as an example to other students ».
Emmanuel was not only into acting and writing, he liked playing the piano as well. He won the 3rd Prize from the Music School of Amiens. Rumours keep buzzing. Malicious gossip or truth ?
Officially, Emmanuel and Brigitte became an item only when he was 18. In the meantime, Emmanuel had moved to Paris to study at the top-and-posh public senior high school Henri IV. His father, a neurologist, taught at the Faculty of Medicine of Amiens. His mother was a physician-consultant at the Social Security ( the French NHS) of Amiens. But they did not have the level of wealth of the Trogneux family.
Emmanuel gets his baccalaureat ( French senior high school diploma) with honours. His average mark is above 16/20, which is considered outstanding in France. One may wonder why he moved to Paris for this last year of study, when he could finish senior high school at La Providence…
Emmanuel gets a master degree in Philosophy, then works for a renowned philosophy profesor, then enters the prestigious Political Sciences School of Paris ( IEP) . He graduates in 2001. He then enters our National School of Administration ( ENA) and graduates successfully.
NB- ENA is the gate to enter the high realms of governmental organisations in France. Many French Présidents, high level politicians and civil servants are ENA alumni. Nicolas Sarkozy is the exception among other fellow Presidents. He holds a Law degree though.
In the meantime, at 24, Macron joins the Socialist Party ( PS) and follows a career path quite seldom seen for a left-wing person. He allegedly wants to make fast money to be free to do politics later. Laurent Fabius, former Primer Ministre under President Mitterrand, currently our Minister of Foreign Affairs, a millionnaire family heir himself, advises him to go for corporate banking.
Macron joins the Rothschild & Cie bank. His main achievement is certain big operation : Pfizer sells a company for 9 billion euros to Nestle … Macron pockets 9 millions euros.
Now that he has proved he is financially reliable, Macron marries his beloved Brigitte in 2007. He is 30, she is 50. She actually had divorced the father of her 3 children to follow him to Paris, when he was just 18. Their story has stood the test of time. One can imagine the years of mockery the couple had to suffer. She, the rich couguar, living with a philosophy student who cannot even earn a living yet . Let alone the step children who were almost his age . It took time for them to accept this new young step-father.
Of course, back in time, Brigitte’s divorce had been quite a scandal in Amiens, especially since it is a small provinces city. Still, Brigitte followed her heart and moved to Paris, landing a new job as a French teacher in a famous private high school. A job she still holds today.
The wedding ceremony took place at Le Touquet, a famous beachresort , close to Amiens. His wife still has a beautiful villa there. Le Touquet has been famous for its annual sandbeach motorbike race . Now, Le Touquet is renowned for this celeb couple.
Macron entered the government last year. Previously, he was a special advisor, working in the shadow of the President Hollande. Some say Macron is Hollande’s pet. Of course, everybody was stunned by this handsome young man, not a professional politician, reaching at 36 such a top position. He is the youngest male ministre of the government.
Caricaturists promptly presented him as an ambitious and reckless baby who works in the interest of greedy corporations owners, rather than for the « poor » workers.
His wife also quickly raised the curiosity of the public. She would never appear in official events, unlike other spouses. Closer Magazine was the first one to publish pictures of this unusual couple.
Brigitte was not exactly at the top of her beauty on the pics: straw-like uncombed hair, terrible clothes. Mini skirt on hairpin legs. Fake tan. A living proof that money does not buy style. She looked like the granny of 6 grandchildren she is. Although he has no kids, Macron is very proud to tell his colleagues he » is the grandfather of 6 kids » that he happily sees at his Le Touquet villa on weekends.
Macron ‘s reaction was quite lenient, as he was seen giggling at the Parliament, while browsing the magazine issue. He was even showing the pics to a friend. He is probably totally smitten by his lady. If I were her , I would have been mortified to appear like that on a magazine cover.
A few weeks later, the Macron were photographed on Le Touquet Beach, walking hand in hand. « Alone » on the beach. It all became very romantic when he suddenly embraced his lady and kissed her passionately. Something we do not see with our French politicians !
Closer Magazine was there again to immortalise the moment. It really looked as if Macron wanted to be caught on camera. Mrs Macron was all well groomed , with a beautiful Hermes handbag. Why such a branded bag to sit on a sandbeach in the winter wind ? Besides the Ministre was a bit too euphoric to be natural, I found. Maybe he likes to be on the cover of Closer Mag ?
Chabada bada refers to the mythic Golden Globe, Cannes Palme d Or , Oscar winning movie by French director Claude Lelouch » Un Homme et une Femme » ( 1966) .The English title is « A Man and a Woman« , the Chinese title is « 一个男人和一个女人 »
The beauty of leading actors Anouk Aimee and Jean Louis Trintignant, the romantic directing by Claude Lelouch has made of this simple love story between a widow and a widower, a blockbuster worldwide. But what everybody remembers today is the romantic OST melody by Francis Lai, orchestrated by Paul Mauriat. Listen to this: I am sure you have heard it before.
The story has aged a bit, but not the music. In the film, there is a famous reunion scene on Deauville Beach, which looks like Le Touquet Beach. Typical romantic movie scene that has become a cliche.
A romantic date in a quiet atmosphere ? Go to the Normandy and Northern Coast beaches. There are plenty of long beaches like that. Deauville, Trouville, Le Touquet, etc. Do not miss the annual American Film Festival of Deauville in September. Plenty of Hollywood stars to admire each year.
If you plan to attend the Deauville Festival , click here to read further.
Coming back to Le Touquet…
Le Touquet beach’s name is Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, it is not in Paris city at all though. A Paris mayor wanted to sue them for using the name, but it is the traditional name of the place since the 19th century. The city was founded in 1837 by a real estate developer who bought over the lands that have made Le Touquet City. Plenty of elegant villas were built for rich people who wished to escape Paris’ hot summers.
There is a horse racecourse and a casino. The Atlantic Ocean waters can be chilly for the swimmers not coming from Northern Europe. It is a bit like bathing in cold tap water( 15 to 20 degrees) . But the beach is beautiful and some people enjoy fresh air and walking in the seawaters. Many artists love painting the ever changing grey and blue hues of the sky. For sure, zero pollution there.
How to go to Le Touquet ? Take a train at Gare du Nord in Paris, alight at Etaples-Touquet and take a shuttle or a taxi to the town of Le Touquet Plage (3km from the train station) . The trip is about 2h15. But you can also come by Eurostar from London ( about 2h40) . Or by local TER train from Lille City. Le Touquet is a town of the Nord-Pas de Calais région. It is located at 233 km from Paris. By car, you need 2h at least to go there by highway.
You are quite likely to run into Mr and Mrs Macron one weekend, as they are very keen on having lunch at the local restaurants or on walking on the beach. Maybe not on high season though.
How to get to Amiens ?
Amiens is even nearer Paris than Le Touquet. It is located in the Picardie region ( the region north of Paris region). 1h by train and here you are. The Tour de France is calling Amiens this year. Besides there is a colour lights show on the World Heritage Cathedral front walls from mid June to Sept. 20th.
Visit the Trogneux confectionery shop, taste their Amiens macaroons , a specialty dating back to the 16th century as Italy-born Queen Catherine of Medicis brought to France the amaretti recipe ( Italian hard macaroon). French pastry chefs made the macaroons softer than amaretti, but various hard and soft versions exist across France regions.
Fr- La suite des aventures des Macron, ils boivent la tasse dans Match, mais c’est elle qui prend.
Chabada bada !
Fresh from the oven- April 24th update– Read the latest on Brigitte, the next First Lady