The Welsh woman who might become France’s first lady

She’s “ultra-discreet”, wrote Le Figaro newspaper on Monday and Le Parisien called her la femme de l’ombre (“the woman of the shadows”). Closer magazine even called her the “anti-Carla Bruni” a reference to ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy’s publicity hungry wife.

They were all talking about Penelope Kathryn Fillon, the 60-year-old Welshwoman who is married to François Fillon, the man who is suddenly the favourite to become the right wing presidential candidate and then the likely winner of next year’s election (according to polls).

Fillon’s stunning score on Sunday prompted a host of articles about his partner as the media eyed up the country’s possible next first lady.

Given her desire for a “life in the shadows” it’s a fair assumption that the thought of her becoming France’s first ever Welsh first lady probably terrifies her.

When Fillon became Prime Minister in 2007, she had this to say: “People are asking me what my new role is, but there isn’t one.

“At the end of this week everything will calm down and I can go back to normal. People do not recognize me on the streets and I don’t want to be. I would be terrified,” she said, before admitting to walking on the other side of the street to her husband sometimes.

But there are at least signs she is willing to embrace the spotlight a little. 

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