France's first lady Brigitte Macron draws comparisons to Michelle Obama

There is speculation that the wife of France's newly elected president could have a high-profile role similar to that of former U.S. first lady Michelle Obama, notes The Local.

The BBC reports that Emmanuel Macron has said of his wife Brigitte, "She will have an existence, she will have a voice there, a view on things. She will be at my side, as she has always been, but she will also have a public role."

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This represents a departure for France which does not have a legal framework in place for the president's spouse to work in the administration, unlike the U.S. which provides the first lady an office, staff, and budget.

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However, the couple, whose 24-year age difference has been well-publicized, have consistently expressed their close partnership in his success, notes CNN.

As a former teacher, she has also spoken up about her desire to advocate for issues related to education, children with disabilities, and women.

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As such, Alix Bouilhaguet, a French journalist, told The Local that "Michelle Obama is a good reference for Brigitte Macron." Also like Michelle, Brigitte will likely not be paid for her work.

France's president-elect has made this clear to the country's voters after there was public outcry over allegations that the wife of fellow presidential candidate François Fillon was paid more than $1 million in public funds for what has been called "a fake job."