France’s New First Lady Isn’t Married To The President — And France Doesn’t Care

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François Hollande with Valérie TrierweilerCarla Bruni may have made a very photogenic French First Lady, but the country has bid Bonjour! to a new one with the win of François Hollande. The “unglamorous leftist,” to quote The New York Times, seems to be quite the contrast to Nicolas Sarkozy’s flashy ways. But aside from the differences in political affiliation, Hollande isn’t legally married to his long-time partner Valérie Trierweiler, meaning that France has welcomed its first unmarried presidential couple.

The Times suggests that the acceptance of Valérie, and her partner for that matter, reveals that France’s attitudes towards family are changing, along with much of Europe. And perhaps you didn’t even need the twice divorced Sarkozy or his model/singer First Lady to put your finger on that one. Valérie isn’t reportedly looking to loaf about the Élysée Palace sitting for photo opportunities when need be either. The new First Lady is an accomplished journalist of 20 years, also twice divorced, who doesn’t have any intention of being financially supported by France’s newest president.

In addition to asserting that she was not “raised to serve a husband” in any capacity, Valérie also has three teenage sons whom absolutely tug at her mommy guilty heart strings:

“I’ve shared the fate of many working mothers, I felt guilty like them,” Ms. Trierweiler said. “I took Wednesdays off to see my children and make them crepes.” She said she turned down a posting as a foreign correspondent for Paris Match because “I wanted to stay with them.”

Regardless of how perceptions of family and partnerships ultimately change, leave it to that enduring mommy guilt to remain completely the same.