Emmanuel Macron has cleared his diary to take four days off amid reports that hectic travel and an autumn of political strife has left the French president, 40, exhausted, reports The Times.
Mr Macron, a workaholic who is known to send text messages to his advisers at 3am, is leaving with his wife Brigitte for an undisclosed place to rest before a week of travel to commemorate the 1918 Great War Armistice, the Elysée Palace said.
It also appeared to be behind a riposte to recent rumours of tension between the president and his wife, 65. Soazig de La Moissonnière, Mr Macron’s official photographer, pointedly posted on social media a portrait of the couple alone and displaying affection, with the hashtag “#love”.
Aides denied that the rare decision to advance today’s cabinet meeting to yesterday and clear the president’s diary confirmed reports over the past month that staff are alarmed by the wear the job has inflicted on him. “There isn’t a sudden decision,” said an aide. “There’s no bout of fatigue but, yes, he is saving his energy.”
Benjamin Griveaux, the government spokesman, said that Mr Macron was simply taking a break for the long All Saints Day weekend, “like millions of French people”.
In the last month, mainstream outlets such as Le Parisien newspaper and Europe 1 radio have quoted friends saying they fear for Mr Macron’s health after 17 hectic months in office as near absolute ruler of France, during which he has made 66 foreign trips and 170 official visits to the French provinces.