Royalty and statesmen

"Carla is very happy about this trip... Who wouldn't be in her position?" said the model's excited mum as the new First Lady of France and her husband prepare to join the Queen at Windsor Castle during their official visit to the UK next month
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Carla's mum excited as model prepares to meet the Queen

26 FEBRUARY 2008
When French president Nicolas Sarkozy pays an official state visit to Britain next month it will be a particularly memorable trip for two reasons. Not only will he be accompanied for the first time by his new wife Carla Bruni, the couple will also be staying at Windsor Castle as guests of the Queen.

"My daughter will go to England on an official visit with her husband, and they will be guests of the Queen!" Carla's mother told an Italian newspaper. "Carla is very happy about this trip. It is her first state visit. Who wouldn't be in her position?"

The happy couple, who tied the knot a month ago after a whirlwind romance, will arrive for a two-day visit on the morning of March 26. And although an official itinerary hasn't yet been finalised, the newlyweds are expected to participate in all the main elements of a state visit.

Mr Sarkozy and his Italian chanteuse wife will be welcomed by the Queen to her weekend residence in Berkshire, ahead of a lunch with her majesty and Prince Philip. They'll then visit Westminster Abbey to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, before heading back to Windsor where they'll be guests of honour at a state banquet.

The following day the French head of state will lunch with British premier Gordon Brown and later attend a banquet in his honour hosted by the Lord Mayor of London. The couple jet back to Paris later that evening.


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