Following her recent trip to the United States, France’s first lady, Brigitte Macron, has expressed her surprise over how strict life inside the White House is for Melania Trump.
The internet has long been obsessed with the idea that there’s something a little… well, a little ‘off’ between Melania Trump and her husband, Donald. She’s refused to hold hands with Trump on multiple occasions, famously snubbed his directions at a pre-inauguration event, and famously ‘liked’ a tweet that belittles her own marriage.
Then, of course, there’s the unfortunate video which was taken during Trump’s inauguration. In the clip, thousands watched as Melania smiled radiantly as Trump turned around to look at her. As his gaze slid off of his wife, however, her mouth seemingly fell into a moue of disappointment, anger, and anxiety – sparking a plethora of #FreeMelania hashtags all over social media.
Now, France’s first lady has added fuel to the fire by telling a French newspaper that she feels sorry for Melania – albeit not for the reasons you might expect.
Brigitte Macron recently accompanied her husband, Emmanuel Macron, on a state visit to the United States of America. After spending three days there, she was left with an entirely new impression of Melania – one which saw Trump’s wife as “really fun”, but a virtual prisoner within the White House.
Speaking to Le Monde, Brigitte said that stringent security measures mean that “Melania cannot do anything”.
“She cannot even open a window in the White House,” she told the French newspaper. “She can’t put her nose outside. And she’s much more constrained than I am. Me, every day, I’m out in Paris.”
Despite this, Brigitte got along incredibly well with Melania, insisting that the two “have the same sense of humour” and “laughed a lot” together – although she admits this side of the FLOTUS is hidden from public view.
“Everything is interpreted, over-interpreted,” she said of Melania’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.”
This may be down to the strict protocols that have been put in place for America’s presidential family – rules which Brigitte and her husband were also expected to follow during their visit.
“Everything was very framed,” she explained. “There were small labels on the ground, I put myself where I had to put myself.”
France’s first lady went on to admit that she has to deal with some of the same limitations as her American counterpart because she has to be “careful what I say.”
She added: “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.”
However, she said she tries to be more than just a decorative “flower pot” in the shadow of her husband. And she makes a point of living as normal a life as possible, going out each day in her home country.
“I have not changed,” she said firmly. “Neither in my head nor in my way of living.”