Mr. Macron and his wife met when he was a 15-year-old 10th grader at a Jesuit high school in Amiens, and Ms. Trogneux was a 40-year-old married mother of three children, one of whom was in Mr. Macron’s class. Then known by her married name, Auzière, she taught French literature and ran the theater club.
Last fall’s main literary event was “Letters to Anne,” a 1,276-page book of romantic letters that former President François Mitterrand sent to his longtime mistress, Anne Pingeot. They met when she was 19 and he was 45. (“I feel that I’ve been making love to you without stopping since August 15, 1963!” Mr. Mitterrand declared in a letter dated seven years later.)
The French also pride themselves on not moralizing. Politicians’ private lives don’t have to follow a script, and no one even expects them to discuss it. Marine Le Pen has two ex-husbands and took years to acknowledge her current relationship with another party official.
But don’t confuse a lack of moralizing with a lack of interest. One sign that President François Hollande’s career was kaput was that no one cared anymore about whom he was sleeping with. The Socialists are running Mr. Hollande’s former education minister for president instead; he’s currently in distant fourth place in the polls.
The one requirement is that a politician’s love life should be sincere, especially if it’s part of his public persona. Mr. Macron went on TV in November to deny a persistent rumor that he’s secretly gay and living a “double life.” At issue isn’t his sexuality; it’s his authenticity. The implication is that if his love story isn’t real, his plans for the country lack substance, too.
For the future of France, let’s hope it is.