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Brigitte Macron works on charities unofficially as ‘first lady’

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Brigitte Macron, the wife of French President Emmanuel Macron, will represent the country and carry out charity work but not have the official status of First Lady, following opposition to giving her such a title, the presidency announced on Monday.
A proposal by Macron during campaigning earlier this year to create a new First Lady status has been shelved, but the presidency had promised to clarify her position and the resources at her disposal. The former school teacher will have two presidential advisors and her own cabinet, paid for from Macron’s budget, and will focus on working with charities helping children and handicapped people.
She will also represent France at her husband’s side during international summits and meetings and work with the partners of other global leaders to highlight work to combat climate change or domestic violence.
An online petition against creating an official First Lady role which would have required a change in the law or constitution garnered more than 300,000 signatures in August. An opinion poll in early August showed a majority of French people were also opposed, even though Brigitte Macron is a popular figure.
The 64-year-old, who has taken to public life with aplomb, said in an interview with Elle magazine last week that she would be an unofficial First Lady in the mold of previous presidential spouses.
“Like all of those before me, I will take on my public role, but the French people will know the resources at my disposal,” she said. She accompanied the president to a G7 summit in Italy and was also by his side when he welcomed US President Donald Trump to Paris in July.
“In legal terms, the first lady still does not have any status,” Jean-Joel Governatori, a constitutional lawyer, said. “In the end, it doesn’t change anything, other than giving the illusion of transparency.”

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