- French first lady Brigitte Macron told Le Monde that American first lady Melania Trump is “really fun” but is not allowed outside.
- Macron said the two get along well, but they have very different experiences as first ladies, and she was surprised at how strict White House life is.
Macron said she was surprised at how strict life inside the White House is for Trump, whom she described as “much more constrained than me.”
“Melania cannot do anything; she cannot even open a window in the White House,” Macron told the French newspaper. “She can not put her nose out. Me, every day, I’m out in Paris.”
Macron and Trump spent much of the state visit together – visiting an art museum, dining together, and posing by their husbands’ sides throughout the trip. They even appeared to dress alike during the historic and highly choreographed visit.
Though their day-to-day lives in the role of first lady may differ, Macron said the two “have the same humour, we both laugh a lot,” though that side of Trump is hidden from public view.
“Everything is interpreted, over-interpreted,” Macron said of Trump’s public image. “She is a woman who has a lot of character but who is keen to hide it. She laughs very easily about everything but she shows it less than me.”
Macron, a former teacher, said she still has a “normal life” and described how she balanced the personal and professional adjustments that are expected of incoming first ladies. Though she appreciates the gravity of the executive office, she said she doesn’t want to be a “flower pot”, or a silent ornament to her husband, French President Emmanuel Macron.
Events like last week’s French state visit to the White House have particularly stiff protocol in place that governs the first couples’ every move. “Everything was very framed,” Macron said. “There were small labels on the ground; I put myself where I had to put myself.”
Despite the national audience and occasional pomp and ceremony, Macron said being France’s first lady hasn’t affected her. “I have not changed, neither in my head nor in my way of living.”
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