Brigitte Macron thanks Brazilians for online support

Mrs Macron said thank you in Portuguese during a public visit this week, after much online support

Brigitte Macron, wife of President Emmanuel Macron, has said thank you to the Brazilian people as apologies trended online, in response to a rude comment by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

In a now-deleted comment, Mr Bolsonaro had appeared to negatively compare the appearance of Mrs Macron, aged 66, with that of his third wife, Michelle, aged 37.

Following a backlash, many Brazilians took to social media to apologise for their president’s comment, causing the hashtags #PardonBrigitte and #DisculpaBrigitte (sorry Brigitte) to trend online.

In response, Mrs Macron said “Muito obrigada! (Thank you very much!)” during a visit this week to Azincourt (Pas-de-Calais).

Mrs Macron added: “A very, very big thank you to all those who got involved. Times are changing. There are some who are still changing.

“Women are there with you, nearly all of you men know this now. Not everyone. Some are still on the platform [but] I am sure it will not be long before they get on the train. Things change. Everyone must take note. There are things that you can no longer say and things that you can no longer do.”

Earlier this week, Mr Macron himself had called the comments “extraordinarily rude”, and well-known Brazilian author Paulo Coelho also published a video, in French, apologising to Mrs Macron.

Tensions between the two countries and leaders have been high after Mr Macron called the fires in the Amazon rainforest “an international crisis”, and pledged to discuss them at last weekend’s G7 summit in Biarritz.

Mr Bolsonaro condemned the approach as “colonialist”, and the Brazilian government publicly rejected the $20 million (€18 million) that the G7 had released to help combat the fires.

After an outcry, Brazil later said it was in fact “open” to the money.

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