Australian first lady 'flattered' by 'delicious' description

French President Emmanuel Macron, center left, and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, center right, tour HMAS Canberra during a visit at the naval base in Sydney, Wednesday, May 2, 2018. (Brendan Esposito/Pool Photo via AP)
French President Emmanuel Macron, second left, and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, center, stand on the submarine HMAS Waller as they visit the naval base at Garden Island, in Sydney, Wednesday, May 2, 2018. (Brendan Esposito/Pool Photo via AP)
France's President Emmanuel Macron makes a speech on board the Australian ship HMAS Canberra in Sydney Wednesday, May 2, 2018. (Peter Parks/Pool via AP)
France's President Emmanuel Macron, center, makes a speech on board the Australian ship HMAS Canberra in Sydney Wednesday, May 2, 2018. (Peter Parks/Pool Photo via AP)
France's President Emmanuel Macron makes a speech on board the Australian ship HMAS Canberra in Sydney Wednesday, May 2, 2018. (Peter Parks/Pool Photo via AP)
The Daily Telegraph newspaper has an altered image on the front showing French President Emmanuel Macron and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Sydney, Thursday, May 3, 2018. Sydney's best-selling newspaper has the headline "President Pepe Le Pew," likening Macron to the Warner Bros. love-sick French skunk cartoon character, following Macron's describing Prime Minister Turnbull's wife, Lucy Turnbull, as "delicious." (AP Photo)
France's President Emmanuel Macron, right, shakes hands with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on board the Australian ship HMAS Canberra in Sydney Wednesday, May 2, 2018. (Peter Parks/Pool Photo via AP)
FILE - In this April 24, 2018, file photo, Lucy Turnbull, wife of Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, visits the Sir John Monash Centre on the eve of ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day ceremonies in Villiers-Bretonneux, northern France. French President Emmanuel Macron raised eyebrows in Sydney on Wednesday, May 2, 2018, by calling Lucy “delicious.” The comment quickly sparked lighthearted reaction on social media and in the Australian press, amid lively conjecture about the French leader’s intent. (Pascal Rossignol/Pool Photo via AP, File)
French President Emmanuel Macron, center left, and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, center right, tour HMAS Canberra during a visit at the naval base in Sydney, Wednesday, May 2, 2018. (Brendan Esposito/Pool via AP)
France's President Emmanuel Macron makes a speech on board the Australian ship HMAS Canberra in Sydney Wednesday, May 2, 2018. (Peter Parks/Pool Photo via AP)

CANBERRA, Australia — Australia's prime minister said on Thursday his wife was "flattered and charmed" to be described by President Emmanuel Macron as "delicious," a compliment that has sparked lighthearted conjecture during the French leader's first official visit Down Under.

Macron raised eyebrows on Wednesday with his description of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's wife of 38 years, Lucy, during a Sydney press conference.

"I want to thank you for your welcome, thank you and your delicious wife for your warm welcome," Macron told the prime minister.

Turnbull showed no hint of jealousy when questioned on Thursday about the compliment, which the beaming prime minister revealed he also found charming.

"Lucy was very flattered," Turnbull told reporters. "She's asked me to say that she found the president's compliment as charming as it was memorable."

"President Macron charmed Australia. He certainly charmed all of us, all the Turnbulls," the prime minister said. "Mrs. Turnbull is both flattered and charmed as we all are."

The president's comment quickly sparked lighthearted reaction on social media and in the Australian press amid lively conjecture about the French leader's intent.

Sydney's best-selling newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, reported the comment on its front page on Thursday under the headline "President Pepe Le Pew," likening Macron to the Warner Bros. love-sick French skunk cartoon character.

Despite Macron's deadpan delivery, some observers felt he may have been joking. The comment was made just before lunch and he and Turnbull had made previous comments about food.

Others felt Macron may simply have slipped up in his use of English, since the French word for delicious — delicieux — also translates as "delightful."

The more mischievous may have even considered Macron's comment to possibly be a tongue-in-cheek reference to Trump's visit to Paris last year, when he was caught telling Macron's wife, Brigitte, that she was "in such great shape," before looking to her husband and saying, "Beautiful."

In any case, the moment made headlines in Australia as a somewhat comedic ending to a serious news conference focusing on violent May Day protests in Paris, the Iran nuclear deal and China's growing influence.

Macron ended his trip to Sydney on Thursday with a thumbs-up and a farewell wave to the prime minister.

Macron's next stop is the South Pacific island nation of New Caledonia, where locals are preparing for a referendum in November on whether the French territory will become independent of France.

____

Associated Press writer Trevor Marshallsea in Sydney contributed to this report.

People also read these

Israeli prime minister meets Australian...

Feb 24, 2017

Australia's opposition leader Bill Shorten says he raised his Labor Party's concerns about Israel's...

Israeli premier calls 1st visit to Australia...

Feb 26, 2017

Benjamin Netanyahu has described his visit to Australia, which is a first for a serving Israeli...

Lewis Hamilton takes pole in record pace at F1...

Mar 25, 2017

Something that surprised Lewis Hamilton after he posted the fastest lap ever at the Albert Park...

Vettel's drought-breaker for Ferrari sets up F1...

Mar 27, 2017

With Sebastian Vettel ascending the top of the podium in his red Ferrari race suit, the new...

Australian leader promises help on housing...

Apr 5, 2017

Australia's prime minister is fending off criticism over tax concessions for investors in booming...

Sign up now!

Three Sixty Press is your general news coverage keeping you up-to-date with the vast news in the world.

Contact us: sales[at]threesixtypress.com