Emmanuel Macron, 39, is the son of a doctor and a neurology professor. Raised in the Picardy town of Amiens, he studied philosophy (you can tell from his speeches), then followed the classic postgrad route of France’s political and business elite, through Sciences Po and the École Nationale d’Administration.
Briefly a rising star in the civil service, he bought himself out of his government contract and joined Rothschild & Co – reportedly making around €2m (£1.7m) as a thrusting young investment banker – before being appointed a senior adviser by François Hollande in 2012 and, two years later, economy minister. Macron resigned last summer and launched his campaign in November.
Unknown to the public barely two years ago, never elected, no longer a member of a political party and defining himself as “neither left nor right”, he is now – according to polls – the favourite to become France’s next president. Oh, and his wife, Brigitte Trogneux, used to be his French teacher, and is 20-odd years his senior.
“Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide.”
― Napoléon Bonaparte