French President Francois Hollande and girlfriend Valerie Trierweiler are set to marry ‘in the near future’, it was revealed yesterday.
Presidential aides have been urging France’s first ever unmarried first couple to wed quickly to avoid protocol problems on state visits to strict religious countries. Their status may be viewed as living in sin by hardline states like Saudi Arabia or The Vatican, advisors have warned.
And the pair have now decided to bow to pressure and tie the knot. Reports said, “Members of Valerie’s family have confided in us to reveal that they are planning a happy event, and in the not too distant future. For her to become Mrs Hollande would clarify her status in the eyes of the French people and the world, though the president’s wife technically has no official status in our constitution.”
Hollande and Trierweiler met 15 years ago at a political rally and have been a couple for five years. The socialist president has four children with his previous live-in lover Segolene Royal, who he left after she lost her bid for the presidency to Nicolas Sarkozy in the last election five years ago.
Trierweiler is said to be still so jealous of Royal that she can not even bear to hear her name spoken. Until now both Hollande and Trierweiler have resisted calls to marry. The president said recently: “I’m not ruling anything out, but this is an issue that concerns only Valerie and me.
I am not presenting myself to the French people during this campaign as part of a couple, but as a political personality offering his ideas. We may marry through choice, but not for questions of protocol.” And Trierweiler, a magazine journalist, has also told the French media they ‘have no current plans to marry’.
She said on her first day as the new First Lady, “Frankly, it’s not a subject that preoccupies me. This marriage issue is first and foremost a private matter for us.” But she is said to have changed her mind after being repeatedly asked about her status by American journalists at the recent G8 summit in Washington DC.