A sexism row has erupted after Brigitte Macron, wife of French President Emmanuel, was criticised for refusing to follow protocol by standing behind her husband on state visits, reports The Independent.
Ms Macron said this week she would no longer take a back seat in her role as First Lady, choosing instead to walk beside the President during official outings as she looks to take on “a more meaningful role” at the Elysee Palace.
“A woman today does not have to be behind,” she explained, according to radio station RTL.
lattering comparisons on social media.
“It’s confirmed: Brigitte Macron, unelected, thinks she is the Queen of France,” sneered one tweet, while another said: ”We elected your husband, not you, so stay where you were please, darling.”
Some likened Ms Macron to Marie Antoinette, the country’s last queen before the French Revolution, while others pointed out male spouses – such as the Duke of Edinburgh – were also expected to step back during state visits.
French politicians also waded in. Gilbert Collard a far-right MP and ally of Front National leader Marine Le Pen, joked in reference to the 24-year age gap between the French President and his wife: “I imagine Macron, two steps behind, sucking his presidential thumb.”