9 Ways France’s First Couple Is Different From Ours

New French president Francois Hollande and his partner Valerie Trierweiler show that French political families have more privacy than American ones — and more crepes.

1. They’re not married.

POOL / Reuters

Of their marital status (or rather lack thereof), Trierweiler says, “I’m not sure it will come up all that much.” Which would hardly be true in America — a couple living in sin in the White House would have to talk about it constantly, if they managed to make it there at all.

2. She’s keeping her job.

Trierweiler’s a journalist and TV host, and while she says she won’t cover politics anymore, she does plan to keep reporting. Most US first ladies don’t have outside jobs, and it’s hard to imagine one as an active TV host — although some presidential daughters have held that job once their dads left office.

3. He has four kids with a former presidential candidate Segolene Royal.

STEPHANE MAHE / Reuters

That’s sort of like if Barack Obama had an entire family with Hillary Clinton. Oh, and Hollande and Royal were never married either.

4. Those children are largely out of the public eye, except maybe “the next Pippa Middleton.”

That’s the oldest, Thomas Hollande, a 28-year-old lawyer. He’s campaigned with his dad a bit, but Le Figaro says “nothing is known of him.” That might be about to change, though — the paper calls him the next Pippa Middleton.

5. They’re replacing another unconventional couple.

POOL / Reuters

Nicolas Sarkozy got a divorce from his second wife, Cecilia, soon after he was elected president. Then he met and quickly married model/singer/actress Carla Bruni. Sarkozy got the nickname “President Bling-Bling” for his flashy lifestyle, and Hollande is positioning himself as “Mr. Normal.” Things that make you “normal” in France but maybe not in America include not owning a car — Hollande apparently used to get around by scooter.

6. They dance to Edith Piaf.

After Hollande’s first speech as president, Trierweiler asked a group of accordionists (yes) to play Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose,” and she and her partner danced on stage. At Obama’s inauguration, he and Michelle famously danced to Beyonce, singing Etta James’s “At Last.”

7. She’s “feisty” on Twitter.

Merci à mes consœurs, confrères de respecter notre vie et nos voisins. Merci de ne pas camper devant notre domicile. Merci de le comprendre.— Valerie Trierweiler (@valtrier) May 8, 2012

View this embed ›

The Daily Beast calls her “a feisty tweeter.” When paparazzi camped out at the home she shares with Hollande, she tweeted the above: “[I’ll] thank my colleagues to respect our life and our neighbors. Thank you for not camping in front of our home. Thank you for understanding.” The Obama campaign runs Michelle’s Twitter, keeping “feistiness” to a minimum.

8. She wears really high heels.

YURI GRIPAS / Reuters

American tongues would be sure to wag if the First Lady put on shoes like these (which Trierweiler wore during a recent tour of the White House).

9. Wednesdays are crepe day.

Trierweiler says she felt guilty about being a working mom, so “I took Wednesdays off to see my children and make them crepes.” Michelle and Barack Obama apparently have the girls on a healthy diet, but I bet it’s not as deliciously French.

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