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Is Macron’s boy wonder Gabriel Attal going to win the Élysée Palace


  • Gabriel Attal is France’s youngest ever Education Minister, aged just 34
  • Many see him as a shoo-in to take over from French President Emmanuel Macron



Practising his lines in front of a class full of schoolmates, the precocious child actor with the London t-shirt then boasts about becoming a famous film star.

Gabriel Attal was just nine when the video was shot in 1998, but already discussing his future with the confidence of a star.

Now aged 34 he is already France‘s youngest ever Education Minister and many see him as a shoo-in to take over from Emmanuel Macron as head of state in 2027.

‘If you think politicians are looking younger every year, then Gabriel hasn’t changed much since he was at school,’ said a former classmate at the private Alsatian School – one of the most prestigious in Paris.

‘He loved showing off on stage, and in front of the camera, and always knew he was destined for great things.’

Gabriel Attal was just nine when the video was shot in 1998, but already discussing his future with the confidence of a star
Now aged 34 he is already France ‘s youngest ever Education Minister and many see him as a shoo-in to take over from Emmanuel Macron as head of state in 2027.
The source said: ‘Gabriel is like a mini-Macron, one who loves following in the footsteps of his boss. People like the clean-cut image, but Gabriel is in fact a lot more unconventional, and happy to challenge accepted values’

In this respect, the young Gabriel was just like his political mentor, Mr Macron, who became president in 2017, at the age of 39.

Mr Macron was also a renowned child actor – one who famously fell in love with his drama teacher and future wife, Brigitte Macron, at a Catholic school in their hometown of Amiens, north of Paris.

The source said: ‘Gabriel is like a mini-Macron, one who loves following in the footsteps of his boss.

‘People like the clean-cut image, but Gabriel is in fact a lot more unconventional, and happy to challenge accepted values.’

Presidents of France have always been male heterosexuals who – despite a history of affairs at the Élysée Palace – like to portray themselves as being committed to their wives.

Presidents of France have always been male heterosexuals who – despite a history of affairs at the Élysée Palace – like to portray themselves as being committed to their wives
Mr Attal is, by contrast, happily settled with his husband Stéphane Séjourné, the 38-year-old general secretary of Renaissance – Mr Macron’s political party, and one that Mr Attal has represented as an MP since 2017

Mr Attal is, by contrast, happily settled with his husband Stéphane Séjourné, the 38-year-old general secretary of Renaissance – Mr Macron’s political party, and one that Mr Attal has represented as an MP since 2017.

Mr Attal and Mr Séjourné are in a civil union – a legal arrangement similar to marriage – and share a home in Paris.

‘If Gabriel does become president, then Stéphane would be a perfect companion at the Élysée,’ said a Renaissance source.

‘They would be the first gay couple in the role, and a refreshing change from those who have come before,’ he added.

Current opinion polls certainly point to the strong possibility of an Attal presidency.

Mr Macron is barred from standing again in 2027, because French heads of state are only allowed two terms in power.

Other contenders include the far-Right Marine Le Pen, and the radical Leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon, meaning that Mr Attal is already being viewed as the moderate centrist who would appeal to millions.

Mr Attal and Mr Séjourné are in a civil union – a legal arrangement similar to marriage – and share a home in Paris

An Ifop poll published last week put Mr Attal as the ‘preferred candidate’ to lead Renaissance in 2027.

He took over the lead from Édouard Philippe, Mr Macron’s former Prime minister, and Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, earning Mr Attal the nicknames ‘Macron II’ and ‘Macron Boy’.

It is considered that Mr Attal, who speaks good English, would impress on the world stage.

Comparing Mr Attal to D’Artagnan, the Fourth Musketeer, Ifop spokesman Frédéric Dabi said the result was ‘spectacular but not surprising.’

It was attributed in part to a series of high-profile announcements by Mr Attal since he was appointed Education Secretary in the summer.

They have included banning the Abaya – the long robe often worn by Muslim women and girls.

Mr Attal said he was determined to uphold the traditions of France’s secular society, one that bans any symbols that might be associated with religion.

Opponents meanwhile accused Mr Attal of being just like Mr Macron – a pampered rich kid who had flirted with Socialism, before focusing on their immense wealth.

Before becoming President, Mr Macron was finance minister in a Socialist administration and had already made millions as a merchant banker, while Mr Attal was once a Socialist Party member.

Mr Attal faces two opponents before securing his place in the Élysée, including Marine Le Pen, the main far right candidate
On the left, he faces Jean-Luc Melenchon, pictured, although Mr Attal should secure the centrist vote

This followed a very comfortable upbringing in Paris, with his film producer father, Yves Attal, and his mother, whose maiden name was Marie de Couriss.

She was from a white Russian background – one that escaped the 1917 Revolution – and Mr Attal has confirmed he adopted her Russian Orthodox religion.

Despite this, he said he had also experienced anti-Semitism, because his father was a Jew.

‘I’ve suffered everything in this respect,’ said Mr Attal. ‘Homophobia – of course. Anti-Semitism, too.’

Mr Attal said: ‘My father told me, ‘Even if you are not Jewish – I’m Russian Orthodox through my mother – you will feel solidarity with the Jews all your life because like them you will suffer anti-Semitism because of your name.’ There was no shortage of it. But I will never complain about it.’

Mr Attal, pictured left, is viewed as the Mini Macron, pictured with his boss, French president Emmanuel Macron
Mr Attal’s meteoric rise in French politics began at the age of 23, when he joined the Socialists as an adviser at the Health Ministry under President François Hollande

Mr Attal added: ‘On a daily basis, many anonymous people suffer discrimination every day, without benefiting from the same support and protection as me.’

Yves Attal died in 2015, meaning that his son became a millionaire overnight, due to an early inheritance that he shared with his three sisters and adopted younger brother.

Discussing his childhood, Mr Attal said: ‘Yes, I went to private school. I don’t have to deny and apologise for it. People should not criticise my parents for making this choice’.

At the Alsatian college, he was known for his love of dolphins – there is a video of him giving a presentation about them – and also Paris St Germain football club.

But acting was his first love, and he appeared as the cat in Puss in Boots, and the medic in The Flying Doctor (Le Médecin Volant) by Moliére.

Mr Attal’s meteoric rise in French politics began at the age of 23, when he joined the Socialists as an adviser at the Health Ministry under President François Hollande.

He first became a junior minister in 2018, when he was just 29, and has since held a number of key roles, including government spokesman, when he became a familiar face on French TV during the Coronavirus pandemic

He first became a junior minister in 2018, when he was just 29, and has since held a number of key roles, including government spokesman, when he became a familiar face on French TV during the Coronavirus pandemic.

After a stint as a public accounts minister, Mr Attal was given the high-profile education portfolio in a cabinet reshuffle in July.

He replaced Pap Ndiaye, an academic whose nomination angered Right-wing conservatives because of his woke agenda.

If Mr Attal does win the 2029 presidential election, he will beat Mr Macron’s record of being France’s youngest ever head of state by one year.



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