Britain swoons for France’s first lady

LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images The British press has been flooding the zone in covering French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s visit to London this week. But of course, it’s not Sarko’s promises to beef up the French troop presence in Afghanistan or his calls for Britain to be more active in the European Union that have dominated the ...

595751_080328_gordo2.jpg
595751_080328_gordo2.jpg

LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

The British press has been flooding the zone in covering French President Nicolas Sarkozy's visit to London this week. But of course, it's not Sarko's promises to beef up the French troop presence in Afghanistan or his calls for Britain to be more active in the European Union that have dominated the headlines. Nope. It's the every move of Sarkozy's Italian-born wife, Carla Bruni, whose supermodel looks have brought the latent prurient impulses of British journalists to the fore.

The tone for the coverage was set early when, the day before France's first couple's visit, Christie's announced it was putting nude photos of Ms. Bruni up for auction. The tabloid Daily Mail and even the ostensibly more respectable Telegraph wasted no time in serving the public interest by publishing one of the photos (find them yourself, folks). The Daily Mail even published closeups of Bruni's legs, hands, and feet and dubbed Bruni a "fully fledged sex siren."

LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

The British press has been flooding the zone in covering French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s visit to London this week. But of course, it’s not Sarko’s promises to beef up the French troop presence in Afghanistan or his calls for Britain to be more active in the European Union that have dominated the headlines. Nope. It’s the every move of Sarkozy’s Italian-born wife, Carla Bruni, whose supermodel looks have brought the latent prurient impulses of British journalists to the fore.

The tone for the coverage was set early when, the day before France’s first couple’s visit, Christie’s announced it was putting nude photos of Ms. Bruni up for auction. The tabloid Daily Mail and even the ostensibly more respectable Telegraph wasted no time in serving the public interest by publishing one of the photos (find them yourself, folks). The Daily Mail even published closeups of Bruni’s legs, hands, and feet and dubbed Bruni a “fully fledged sex siren.”

But to really get a sense of how the British have gone ga-ga for Carla, get a load of this sentence in the Telegraph about the Sarkozys’ dinner at Windsor Castle:

By that stage, the newlywed presidential couple had already disappeared, according to Mr Roche, no doubt to make the most of their bedroom with a “matchless view over the park”.

Or this secondhand report about Mme Sarkozy’s appearance at a charity luncheon:

We have it on good authority Miss Bruni has an “incredibly sexy” voice…”

Of course, the occasion would not be complete without indulging in one of the Telegraph‘s favorite pastimes — mocking Prime Minister Gordon Brown:

The Prime Minister, not known for public displays of affection, lunged at the glamorous former supermodel as she and husband Nicolas Sarkozy visited Downing Street on the second day of their state visit to Britain.

The Sun adds helpfully, “Mr Brown planted TWO enthusiastic smackers on her.”

More from Foreign Policy

A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.
A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

Lessons for the Next War

Twelve experts weigh in on how to prevent, deter, and—if necessary—fight the next conflict.

An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It’s High Time to Prepare for Russia’s Collapse

Not planning for the possibility of disintegration betrays a dangerous lack of imagination.

An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.
An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.

Turkey Is Sending Cold War-Era Cluster Bombs to Ukraine

The artillery-fired cluster munitions could be lethal to Russian troops—and Ukrainian civilians.

A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol  January 8, 2009 in Washington.
A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol January 8, 2009 in Washington.

Congrats, You’re a Member of Congress. Now Listen Up.

Some brief foreign-policy advice for the newest members of the U.S. legislature.