Brigitte Macron says Melania Trump is ‘really fun’ but ‘can’t even go outside’

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Mythili Sampathkumar
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SAUL LOEB /AFP/Getty Images
SAUL LOEB /AFP/Getty Images

Brigitte Macron, wife of French President Emmanuel Macron, said though she is "really fun" her US counterpart First Lady Melania Trump "can’t go outside. She’s much more constrained than I am".

The pair first met met last summer in Paris and met again this week during the official state visit in Washington DC. Ms Macron told French newspaper Le Monde the two "have the same sense of humour. We laugh a lot together". But, she said, Ms Trump's life of constant security and scrutiny meant she "cannot do anything...She can’t even open a window at the White House...I go out every day in Paris".

Ms Trump is often seen as a quiet, perhaps even stern or cold partner to the bombastic Donald Trump, but Ms Macron said the First Lady is quite “kind, charming, intelligent and very open”.

She said Ms Trump perhaps is just more reserved in public because for the media and American public “everything is interpreted, over-interpreted. She’s someone who has a strong personality, but works hard to hide it. She laughs very easily, at everything, but shows it less than I do".

The former drama teacher has seen her fair share of media and public scrutiny as well in her home country. Ms Macron, at 65, is a quarter century older than her husband and used to be his teacher in school when he fell in love with her.

"I have the impression that every word is a word too many, I’m constantly holding myself back. That’s the hardest part: there’s never really any time off, never a moment when you can be completely calm," she told the newspaper.

She said she tried to not be a "vase of flowers" next to her husband, but that has been challenging, as it often is for the spouses of world leaders.

Ms Trump, for her part, has been photographed often at events with children, more animated and smiling than she generally is when photographed with the president.

She has also chosen online bullying as her main focus while Mr Trump is in office, despite her husband's propensity to attack people via his Twitter account.

Largely though, the roles of these two women are unwritten and change depending on who fills them.

"In my head, I'm Emmanuel Macron's wife, not the president's wife. I don't feel like a first lady even though I'm aware of my responsibilities," Ms Macron said.