Reports claim French President marries girlfriend

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Infobox: Sarkozy - Bruni timeline

  • October 18, 2007: The Élysée announces the divorce of Sarkozy and his wife Cecilia.
  • November 20: Sarkozy and Carla Bruni meet at a dinner party, where she sings for the President.
  • December 15: The couple let themselves be photographed in Disneyland Paris.
  • December 25: The couple goes on holiday to Luxor, Egypt. Egyptian politicians debate the stay, and some say it is improper they share a room.
  • January 5, 2008: The couple visits Petra, Jordan.
  • January 8: President Sarkozy affirms in his press conference that he and Bruni are "serious".
  • February 2: RTL announces marriage.
President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Image: Remi Jouan.

French radio station RTL announced today that President Nicolas Sarkozy has married his Italian girlfriend Carla Bruni at the Élysée Palace. They quote "several witnesses" of the alleged ceremony, which the local mayor of the 8th arrondissement of Paris, François Lebel, presided. The President's office and his spokesman have refused to comment.

According to radio station Europe 1, mayor Lebel admitted he wed the couple, saying that "the bride was in white, she looked gorgeous. The groom didn't look bad either." The radio stations say that Nicolas Bazire and Mathilde Agostinelli were the best men and maid of honour. Lebel told AFP that some 20 guests were present, close relatives and a couple of friends.

If confirmed, Sarkozy would be the first French President of the French Fifth Republic to marry during his office, after already becoming the first one to divorce.

On January 10, the French newspaper L'Est Republicain already reported that they may have married, and several false reports continued thereafter. Responding to questions about a possible marriage, Sarkozy said in early January that his relationship with Ms. Bruni was "serious", but that "the media will not set the date. It is highly likely that you will hear of it only when it has taken place."

The couple's first public appearance was at Disneyland Paris, and they remained in the centre of media attention during recent visits to Egypt and Jordan.

A month after the President's divorce, the couple met in November at a sing-along to cheer up the lonely President. Bruni, 40, is a former model who started a career as a singer. She was previously linked to Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton and Donald Trump. She has a grown-up son from a previous relationship, while Sarkozy, 53, has three sons from his two previous marriages.