When French voters are asked to describe the centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, age appears to be a defining characteristic in several ways. The 39-year-old Macron could become the youngest contemporary French president. He would also be accompanied into the Élysée Palace by his wife, Brigitte, who is 24 years older than he is.
Born as Brigitte Marie-Claude Trogneux, the now 64-year-old first met Macron when he was 15 years old at the high school in Amiens where she taught French and Theatre.
“Whatever you do, I’ll marry you!” her student Macron reportedly told her there.
Against all likelihood, the romance continued and Brigitte Trogneux eventually separated from her husband with whom she has three children. In the following decades, as Macron rose from being an investment banker to economics minister, their relationship continued, though under wraps. In 2007, the two married but kept it a secret from most people. It took eight more years until the two made their first public appearance during a dinner with King Felipe of Spain and his wife.
This unusual relationship between Brigitte and Emmanuel Macron has plenty to offer to the public in general: it attracts those who believe in the idea of ‘true love’, it charms lovers who want to take the ‘road less travelled’ in love and rise to the occasion, and it appeals to the many who need to know that its all right to follow your heart!
The mystery of love becomes more fascinating when the stakes are high and the differences many; Nehru and Edwina Mountbatten, lovers in history who rose above social, religious and class barriers to love one another during sunset days of the biggest Empire in the world. Edward of Wales, the heir to the English throne who changed the course of his privileged life when he met Wallis Simpson, the twice divorced American. The madness of love compelled King Edward to abdicate his throne to his brother, marry the love of his life against immense family and public resistance, and lead a common man’s life. The immortal love story of Anthony and Cleopatra who fell in love at first sight; but their love affair outraged the Romans who were wary of the growing powers of the Egyptians. Despite all the threats, Anthony and Cleopatra got married. It is said that while fighting a battle against Romans, Antony got false news of Cleopatra’s death. Shattered, he fell on his sword. When Cleopatra learned about Antony ‘s death, she was shocked and took her own life.
Sadly, in today’s world, the barometer for measuring the intensity of love has changed; the vastness of wealth, the height of social standing in society, the size of the house and the number of cars are all used as a litmus test while deciding who to ‘love’. In olden and more conservative times, there are stories of men falling in love with a girl just by looking in her eyes once or hearing her voice coming from another room. Such stories are now probably only to be found in story books, and much as we may search for cases of pure and simple love, it would be like finding a needle in a haystack.
In the meanwhile, we can look at Marcon and Brigette holding hands in front of the French public and believe that somewhere, somehow, somewhat….. true love still exists!