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The macaroons go to Macron

The French love macaroons

Politics in France is so much more glamorous and exciting than in Britain.

Many political commentators see the French National Front’s relative success as the big story of the first round of presidential voting, yet the most important woman in French politics is not actually the far-right group’s leader Marine Le Pen, but Brigitte Macron.

If the name rings a bell it is because she is married to the man likely to be the next president of France, Emmanuel Macron, although in her home town of Amiens she is more famous for macaroons: the very successful product of her family business.

On this side of the English Channel more interest may be generated by the fact that Brigitte, now aged 63, is 24 years older than Emmanuel. Rather shockingly to English sensibilities their initial relationship began when she was his French teacher at school and he was only 15, but despite parental disapproval theirs is a story of true romance. This is highlighted in the fact that they have stayed together for 25 years and are now grandparents to seven, through Brigitte’s three children by her first marriage.

As a political advisor behind the scenes, Brigitte Macron has proved very effective and astute. The fact that she is always well-presented adds a touch of something very French to her husband, who, as a cerebral career civil servant, might otherwise come across as rather dull and academic.

In France this sort of backstory is not to be underrated and Macron’s likely victory in the final round of voting in May will be given a significant boost as his campaign team begins to rev up his wife’s political profile over coming weeks.

Move over Pippa Middleton—from now on the front page stock photos of the great and glamorous are going to be French.