The spouses of NATO leaders a meeting in Belgium, May, 2017. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)
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A hullabaloo over the new French president's desire to formalize the role of France's first lady is a reminder that being married to a world leader isn't for timid types.America's first lady assumes a formal public role that comes with a White House office, but makes it impossible to maintain an ordinary lifestyle.Melania Trump has kept a lower profile so far, but is expected to accompany her husband at major public events and summits.While French first ladies have taken on an increasingly public role, a proposal by President Emmanuel Macron to grant a special budget to finance his wife's official activities has been met with an online petition of protest that is quickly gaining signatures.Europe's two biggest economies have women leaders, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May.
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