A new biography has shed light on the very intense bond between French president Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte.
French journalist Gaël Tchakaloff, 49, who has been friends with the Macrons since 2016, followed them closely for a year and a half before penning Tant Qu’on Est Tous les Deux (As Long as We’re Together), a biography which was published in France last week.
The book, which was not formally authorised but includes quotes from Brigitte Macron, 68, herself, as well as associates of the French president, 43, and his wife, portrays the couple as a close-knit unit who scarcely do anything without the other knowing.
Tchakaloff, who said in the book she was ‘fascinated’ by the Macron love story, revealed the French president calls his wife every hour and a half.
Meanwhile, anonymous sources close to the couple opened to Tchakaloff about Emmanuel and Brigitte’s bond, with one calling the First Lady ‘dedicated to her husband’s success,’ and reminiscing about their very ostentatious public displays of affections in the early days of their romance, when Macron was at university.
The president’s mother, Francoise Nogues, also spoke exclusively with the author about her close friendship with Brigitte.
A new book by French journalist Gaël Tchakaloff sheds light on the intense relationship between Emmanuel Macron, 43 and his wife Brigitte, 68. Pictured: the couple exchanging a kiss after Macron won the first round of the 2017 French election
Tchakaloff, who has a close relationship with the Macrons, especially with Brigitte, reveals in the book she was initially blacklisted by the president’s team for weeks after she announced her intentions of writing a book on the French president.
However, through her friendship with the French first lady, she managed to win the president over, and was granted access to follow Macron and his wife everywhere they went.
In the book, she refers to the president with the formal ‘vous’, while using the more intimate ‘tu’ for Brigitte.
Writing for Le Point, the publication with which she shared an extract of the book ahead of its publication, Tchakaloff said: ‘There is never an hour and a half that passes without them talking to one another.
The French president met his wife in high school when he was a student and she taught literature. Pictured: Macron aged 15 with Brigitte, then married and named Trogneux, during a theatre meet-up
‘They have a shared schedule. They know minute by minute what the other is doing. They are persuaded that being a couple increases your individuality,’ she added.
In the book, she addressed the following to Macron: ‘You go to bed after a full debriefing with the woman who is in love with you.
‘Sometimes she is dozing and doesn’t at all hear what you are telling her. But most of the time she awaits you.’
The author added that the French president seldom leaves his wife’s side when attend engagements together, something that amuses Brigitte.
The First Lady joked to the author about being ‘told off’ if she steps away from her husband for too long.
Tchakaloff had a front row seat watching how the couple juggled their intimate relationship with Macron’s role as head of state, including Brigitte’s control over her husband’s schedule.
The French president cannot go too long without calling his wife and debriefs his day with her every night. Pictured at a meeting at the Elysee Palace in August 2019
She saw her tell Élysée Palace staff that she was going to pretend one of Emmanuel’s guests had come early to free him from a meeting so he could get some down time in-between engagements.
Tchakaloff talked to the special advisor to the president Pierre-Olivier Costa, who worked closely with Brigitte Macron in what is called the ‘Madame Wing’ of the Elysee Palace, and explained the First Lady has become more essential to the President’s work throughout the pandemic.
Tchakaloff also witnessed Macron’s advisors asking Brigitte to ‘talk to him’ about preventing another lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic.
In the early days of their romance, when Macron was a university-level student, a friend recounted Brigitte and him ‘behaved like teenagers’ and would indulge in some steamy PDA (pictured at the G7 in Biarritz in 2019)
The First Lady told the advisors her husband listened to her, but she could not sway him on her own, and would not be the one held responsible if people died.
Brigitte Macron is also quoted directly in the book, talking about her responsibilities as a first lady and her bond with her husband.
‘As long as we’re together, everything will be fine. We were very lucky to stumble upon each other. Our bond came to be from the first day on, like it was self-evident. People don’t understand, because society is about individualism,’ she told the author over the phone.
‘But “the couple” doesn’t break someone’s individuality, it makes it stronger, it respects it. Couples who have our history, our paths everything we went through, perhaps there is not a lot of them,’ she added.
The French first lady also admitted to Tchakaloff that Macron’s choice to run for president had been ‘difficult’ for the couple and their family, but she didn’t go into more details.
Advisers said that Brigitte’s role as First Lady became more essential during the coronavirus pandemic, pictured in June 2021 at the end of France’s third lockdown
Brigitte, who famously taught literature and theatre at Macron’s high school when he was 15 – when they met – also said she thought her husband would end up being a ‘comedian, a writer or an artist’, not a head of state.
An anonymous high school friend recalled seeing the connection between Emmanuel, then a brilliant student, and Brigitte, who was then married.
She said she was almost sure nothing happened while Macron was a teen, but that it was obvious the future President was enamoured with the teacher, 24 years his senior.
The same woman ventured Macron might have been motivated to run for the presidency because it was the ultimate way to have his relationship with Brigitte accepted.
A called ‘Someone’ in the book said the couple kept each other grounded and didn’t owe anything to anyone. Pictured in Argentina during the g20 of 2018
The same source added that from one day to the next, Brigitte Macron became an idol in her local Amiens, after years of being vilified due to her relationship with Emmanuel Macron.
A university friend of Macron only known as ‘Gaspard,’ recounted how he came to learn about the couple’s relationship.
He recounted seeing Macron and his then girlfriend kiss and hold hands like teenagers in front of the future President’s friends.
He said it made people uncomfortable, not because of the age gap and the unusual way they’d met, but because their PDA was so intense.
The same friend was invited to dinner at the Macrons before the banker turned minister ran for the presidency.
He described: ‘Brigitte is extremely nice, very warm, it’s undeniable, but to put it positively, she is extremely intelligent, dedicated to Emmanuel’s success.
‘She offers him her unconditional love, gives him an immoderate self-esteem and is the wing beneath his wings,’ he added.
‘It is the closest presidential couple in history and the closest couple of human beings I’ve ever met,’ he went on.
Tchakaloff scored an exclusive interview with Macron’s mother Francoise, who calls the president by his nickname ‘Manu.’
The proud mother-of-three admitted she loves to tell everyone and anyone that she is the mother of the French president.
She also spoke of her son’s relationship with his wife and of her own friendhip with Brigitte.
She said she knew Brigitte well because she was her youngest daughter Estelle’s French teacher and that Estelle also did drama.
Francoise explained that the First Lady is more a friend than a daughter-in-law and that they share the same priorities, and tell each other everything.
She talked about accepting her son Emmanuel would never have children, and understanding kids were not a must-have for him.
Some said the source known as ‘Someone’ in the book, who is very critical of Macron, is none other than former French president Francois Hollande. Pictured together on May 8 1945 when Macron was president-elect
She also denied rumours that Macron was sent to live alone with his grandmother as a child and sent to Paris as a teen to drag him away from Brigitte, who was 24 years older than him.
She said the Macrons were a normal family and that the French media had related stories that were false.
However, one person in the book was not generous in their description of the Macron couple.
Only named as ‘someone,’ the anonymous source could be none other than the former president Francois Hollande, according to French media.
Hollande, the socialist president who preceded Macron as the head of state, hired him as Minister of Economy in 2014.
The animosity between the Macrons and Hollande and his partner Julie Gayet has been covered in details.
Some consider Macron ‘betrayed’ Hollande when he decided to run for the presidency in 2016, leading to his victory in 2017.
The book referred to the source as a person who had worked with Macron prior to his candidacy, had a very important role in the public eye and had been disappointed by him.
They told the author Macron was a ‘comedian’ who didn’t have political convictions, but faked it by adopting the political colour of each party depending on the day.
The source added the French president believed in nothing and had given no meaning to his presidential term.
The book says the Macrons have an intense and special bond, and quotes Brigitte Macron herself saying ‘as long as we’re together, everything will be fine’ (pictured holding hands before a state dinner at the Elysee Palace in Paris, on July 5, 2021
Someone also spoke of Brigitte Macron, who he said was ‘a bit ‘reserved, light-hearted, cheerful, although withdrawn.’
He admitted it took him a long time to realise how clever the First Lady actually was.
They added that the couple don’t care for friends or loyalty and only count on each other, claiming that they make others believe they have a sincere friendship, but they’re really onlt interested in networking.
So far there has been no official response from the Macrons, but Tchakaloff told the magazine Madame Figaro that she didn’t think they would read her book, because Brigitte ‘never reads anything written about her.’
Tant Qu’on Est Tous les Deux, by Gaël Tchakaloff is published in French by Flammarion. Is