Speaking on the Graham Norton Show a few weeks ago, Madonna admitted she enjoyed the anonymity of a recent skiing trip when she could hide behind her goggles without being recognised. And she is determined to give her kids the same protection. She said: “We just try to have as normal a life as possible.
“My life with them at home is really just about schoolwork and health and the after-school lessons just like everybody else.”
She added: “Most of them go to a French school. My French is not very impressive, but it’s good enough. Everyone in my house speaks perfect French but me.
“I’m getting better at understanding when they’re not talking about their homework.
“I’m now picking up things and saying, ‘What did you say?’. I know the necessary swear words, so they have to be careful.”
Madonna’s own choice of language has sparked some controversy.
The album title MDNA has led to critics accusing the star of making light of MDMA — the chemical used in the illegal Class A drug Ecstasy.
But Madonna quickly brushes off the accusations, insisting: “It’s an anagram of my name. I don’t really think about controversy — I think about irony.”
In her three-decade reign as the undisputed queen of pop, Madonna has never shied away from controversy.
And she has lost none of her appetite for a good verbal scrap — as she demonstrated when she sprang to the defence of Brit star Adele after Karl Lagerfeld called her “too fat”.
In Day Two of an exclusive interview with The Sun, Madonna branded the legendary fashion designer’s comments “horrible” and “ridiculous”.
Last month, the eccentric Chanel designer claimed Tottenham-born Adele was “a little too fat” when he guest-edited a French magazine.
But Madonna, 53, stuck up for the Grammy-winner, hitting back: “That’s horrible. That’s ridiculous, that’s just the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.
“I don’t like it when anybody says anything bad about anyone — I don’t like it. Adele’s a great talent and how much she weighs has nothing to do with it.”
Madonna, who has won seven Grammys and two Brit awards, explained how she has sustained a career in music spanning more than a quarter of a century — and said it is decent advice for Adele, 23, to stay on the right track.
She said: “The thing for Adele to remember is at the end of the day, whether you rise or fall, it has so much to do with how you sustain yourself and keep your integrity and your inner strength.
“It is all about who you surround yourself with — friends and people who really do care about you, and care about your well-being beyond being a superstar. That’s the most important thing.”
Over the past six months, two of the brightest female solo stars have passed away in tragic circumstances.
Last July Amy Winehouse died aged just 27 after suffering a public battle with drugs and alcohol.
Then last month Whitney Houston was found dead in her hotel bath in the Beverly Hilton in LA. She was 48.
Like all music fans, Madonna was shocked by the deaths before their time.
She said: “I, probably like everybody else, was hit by this shocking sense of disbelief – especially with Whitney Houston.
“It had not been a secret, the struggles Amy had been through — both brilliant, brilliant artists and obviously both huge losses.
“But when these things happen, I’m always shocked by the first thing you say — ‘It’s such a loss’ — which doesn’t quite cover it.
“Then you reflect and you think, ‘How did it happen? How did the people around them allow it to happen?’
“We’ve lost so many great artists that way when you think about it. So history just kind of repeats itself over and over.
“One thing I was struck by with Whitney Houston is I remember she sort of came out as a singer around the same time I did.
“I remember looking at her singing and hearing people talk about her, and just thinking, ‘Oh my God. She’s such a beautiful woman and my God, what an incredible voice. I wish I could sing like that.’