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Transcript of the video

Do you know the story of the student who fell in love with his drama teacher and is now President of France? 

Welcome to another episode of Learn French with News. Today, I'm going to tell you the story of Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte. 

As usual, you can download the free vocabulary sheet to review all the words we'll be looking at in this video. 

At the end of November 2023, the French magazine Paris Match published an article, a portrait with an interview with Brigitte Macron, the First Lady of France. 

The subject has been widely covered in the international press abroad, and has aroused a great deal of interest and reaction. Indeed, the presidential couple have a large age gap, and this intrigues many people. 

In France, we regularly see ridicule and mockery, particularly on social networks, on this subject. But what caused the most controversy abroad, beyond the age difference, was the age of Emmanuel Macron at the time of their meeting. 

As usual, I'm not here to give my opinion or to judge a situation. 

The aim is simply to help you improve your French and learn more vocabulary using a topical subject.

I therefore ask you to be courteous and polite in the comments. Now let me tell you the story. 

During the 1992-1993 school year, Emmanuel Macron, then aged 15, enrolled in a theater workshop at his high school. 

Lycée is the school you go to when you're between 15 and 16 until you're 18. His lycée was in Amiens, the town where he lived with his parents. It's a city in the north of France, about 2h00/2h30 from Paris. 

As part of this theater workshop, he'll be playing the role of a scarecrow for an end-of-year play. A scarecrow is something you might find in the fields to scare birds away from your crops. 

The teacher who gives her acting lessons is called Brigitte Trogneux. She's 40, married and the mother of three children. 

His daughter Laurence was born the same year as Emmanuel Macron, and is in the same class as him. They're the same age. 

So you see, it was in this workshop that Emmanuel Macron met Brigitte, and it was love at first sight, even love at first sight, for this woman 25 years his senior.

25 years his senior, that means she's 25 years older than he is. Today, Emmanuel Macron is 45 and Brigitte is 70.

When Emmanuel Macron fell under the spell of his teacher, his parents tried and tried to reason with him. For them, it was a whim. A whim is a phase, it's something that's not going to last, for example, a feeling that's not going to last.

And they were convinced that it was a one-sided love that was fleeting, that would only last a short time.

In a 2016 documentary on TF1, a major French TV channel, Brigitte talks about this period and also about Emmanuel Macron when he was a high-school student.

She'll say, "Resolutely, he wasn't like the others." So, "Resolutely" means "really". "He was always with the teachers and he always had lots of books. He wasn't a teenager. I was totally captivated by this boy's intelligence." When you're captivated by something, it's because you're under its spell.

Rumors and gossip begin to spread around town. About their rapprochement, of course.

Brigitte is about to change schools. In French, "établissement" means "school". It's another way of saying "school".

I should point out that we don't know exactly when the relationship between them became intimate. There's a bit of a taboo around this information. We don't know exactly when their relationship began. Emmanuel Macron's parents will be sending him to Paris.

To continue his schooling, they sent him to a lycée called Henri IV, which is a very famous lycée in Paris.

In a book he published in 2016, he talks a little about that time, that period of his life. He will also explain how difficult those high school years in the Parisian capital were.

He recounts how in Amiens, he was easily top of the class, so he always got the best marks, whereas in Paris, there was a lot of competition between students. In this book, he writes: "I must also confess that my first years in Paris were the ones during which I chose to live and love rather than indulge in competition between students."

So it's understandable that he maintained a long-distance relationship. In the interview published in Paris Match magazine a few weeks ago, Brigitte Macron also talks about this period, saying: "Emmanuel had to go to Paris. I thought he was going to fall in love with someone his own age.

It didn't happen." She will also tell of waiting over a decade-a decade is 10 years-to make her relationship official, to bring it out into the open. Because she didn't want the news to have a negative impact on her own children. She wanted to protect them.

As you can see, Emmanuel Macron's parents' strategy hasn't worked, and he hasn't forgotten Brigitte. I didn't mention it, but Brigitte soon separated from her husband, André-Louis. They separated in 1994, but the divorce was not made official until 2006.

In 2006, Brigitte got divorced and Emmanuel Macron rushed to ask her to marry him, to ask for her hand in marriage. You could also say in French. They married a year later, in 2007. They said "I do" at Le Touquet town hall.

Le Touquet is a seaside resort in northern France. A seaside resort is a place where you can go on vacation by the sea. They're getting married there because Brigitte has a family home there. She has a second home there.

So we have a main residence, where we live most of the time, and a second home, which is a house or apartment where we spend our vacations or a few weekends a year.

But we are the owners of this home. Following this marriage, Emmanuel Macron will become stepfather to three children. Sébastien, a statistical engineer three years his senior.

Laurence, a cardiologist and heart doctor, is the same age as him, and Tiphaine, a lawyer seven years younger. The presidential couple have never had children, but according to Emmanuel Macron, he hasn't missed them, as he says he loves Brigitte's children as if they were his own.

In 2016, on a program called "Au tableau", where celebrities meet students in schools, he mentioned that he had seven grandchildren.

They are his wife's children's children. In 2007, Brigitte moved to Paris and became a teacher at a private lycée. 2012 proved to be a pivotal year for Emmanuel Macron, as he entered politics.

He enters politics, as you might say in colloquial terms. He became Deputy Secretary General of the Élysée Palace. The Élysée is the presidential palace, the place where presidents live.

Barely two years later, he became Minister of the Economy, Industry and the Digital Economy. But as you can imagine, Emmanuel Macron has other, even greater ambitions, and in 2015, Brigitte Macron left her position in the French education system.

She's going to put herself on availability, we say. It's a term we use for civil servants. It means you can leave your job for a few years and then return to it.

She stopped teaching to devote herself to her husband's political career. In 2016, Macron launched his own political party, and in 2017 he was elected President of the Republic for the first time.

He is elected for a five-year term, as in France they are five-year terms, and will then be re-elected for a second term in 2022.

Today, the couple have been married for over 15 years. And a few years ago, Brigitte reacted a little to this age difference, because it raises a lot of questions.

She said: "It's a joke between us. We don't live with the age difference for a moment. So the 20-year difference, whatever may have been said, is really nothing.

Of course, we have breakfast. We have the morning meal. "Me, with my wrinkles." Wrinkles are the marks you get on your skin as you age." Him, with his freshness.

But that's the way it is. If I hadn't made that choice, I'd have missed out on my life." This is a statement she made in the columns of Elle. Elle is a women's magazine in France.

That's the end of the video for today. I hope you enjoyed it, that you liked the theme and, above all, that you were able to learn some new vocabulary through this love story between the French president and his wife.

If you liked the video, of course, put a "like". If you're not yet a subscriber, subscribe so you don't miss any of my videos, and I'll see you soon.

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