The man set to become France’s youngest ever president today is a lover of Britain who will continue to cross the Channel for his holidays – even as he battles No 10 over Brexit.
Emmanuel Macron may even descend from the English, his wife Brigitte has revealed in an exclusive interview with The Mail on Sunday.
Mr Macron, 39, has spoken of Brexit as a ‘crime’, and if, as expected, he defeats far-Right rival Marine Le Pen, he will be opposing Theresa May in the increasingly fraught negotiations over Britain’s departure from the EU.
Emmanuel Macron with his wife Brigitte, who says they both love the UK despite his comments on Brexit
But his wife said: ‘We both absolutely love Britain, and make sure we visit every year – this won’t change. We go to plays in London, but Emmanuel and I are great strollers too. We love to go on long walks through the city, and to speak to people. We love walking.
‘I’ve been going to Britain since I was 12, initially to learn English. Emmanuel has been visiting all his life too.’
She also explained that her husband may have a British ancestor on his father’s side. Known only as ‘Mr Robertson’, he is thought to have come from Bristol and married a French woman after the First World War.
‘We are sent many Macron genealogies and this is one we are very keen to find out more about,’ said 64-year-old Mrs Macron, who met her ‘toyboy’ husband when she was his teacher.
Mr Macron’s grandfather Andre, married a woman called Jaqueline, who is said to have been the daughter of the Englishman.
‘This is a very interesting possibility, and one that needs further work,’ said Honore Froideval, the mayor of Authie in Normandy – a civic position that Andre’s father Henri held until his death in 1964.
Mr Macron himself said: ‘Half my family is buried in Authie, in a sad valley that I visited only for burials. This countryside – I know its charm and its suffering’.
The politician, who speaks perfect English, has often said that growing up in the Somme region, where thousands of British soldiers were slaughtered during the First World War, turned him against Brexit-style nationalism.
The glamorous Brigitte Macron is said to have had a big role in her husband’s presidential bid
He believes that the EU has meant an end to the bloodshed that saw his home city of Amiens all but destroyed by conflict. In an election debate, Mr Macron told Ms Le Pen: ‘Nationalism is war. I know it.’
Asked by The Mail on Sunday if battles such as the Somme had affected his view of Europe, Mr Macron said: ‘Yes, that’s a very important part of my politics.
‘It’s something that needs to be talked about.’
Mr Macron will today vote in the English Channel beachside resort of Le Touquet, where he and his wife live with their dog, Figaro.
Ms Le Pen and her partner, Louis Aliot, will cast their ballot in nearby Henin-Beaumont, where she has regularly tried to become an MP, without success.
Final opinion polls put Mr Macron on at least 60 per cent of the vote.