French President Nicolas Sarkozy went to elaborate lengths to keep his wedding to former supermodel Carla Bruni a near state secret until it was over, a Paris district mayor has revealed.
Sarkozy, 53, and the Italian Bruni, 40, were married on Saturday in a first floor reception room of the Elysee Palace, with about 20 relatives and friends present, according to Francois Lebel, the local mayor who officiated.
Bruni can now accompany Sarkozy on a state visit to Britain in March as France’s first lady.
The presidency only confirmed the event several hours after it happened. Sarkozy had said last month that if there was a wedding, the media would find out about it afterwards.
“The suspense is over. And so — for now — is the soap opera...,” wrote the Le Parisien.
“The banns were not published because the president of the republic obtained, as is often the case, special dispensation from the prosecutor of the republic,” the mayor said.
Sarkozy got special permission from the local prosecutor to hold the ceremony at the Elysee Palace instead of the town hall, which would normally be used.
“The bride wore white. She was ravishing, as usual. The bridegroom didn’t look bad, either,” Lebel said. The couple were “emotional and amorous,” he added. “There was an exchange of vows and the traditional kiss. Nothing exceptional.”
Lebel said a marriage contract was signed, indicating that if there is a divorce each will keep the assets they had before the wedding day.
The wedding comes less than four months after Sarkozy ended his 11 year marriage to Cecilia Ciganer-Albeniz.