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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 February 2008, 16:38 GMT
Sarkozy and Bruni marry in Paris
Nicolas Sarkozy with his girlfriend Carla Bruni - 30/12/07

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has married his girlfriend, former model-turned-singer Carla Bruni, in Paris, an official statement said.

Francois Lebel, the mayor who performed the ceremony, told French Europe-1 radio that the bride wore white and looked "ravishing, as usual".

Mr Sarkozy's romance with Ms Bruni has been the subject of intense speculation in the French press for several months.

The president divorced his ex-wife, Cecilia, in October 2007.

According to the official statement, Mr Sarkozy, 53, and Ms Bruni, 40, were married "this morning in the presence of their families in the strictest privacy".

'Historic moment'

Mr Lebel said the ceremony was "a moment of family intimacy for the young newlyweds, of great simplicity and apparently a lot of affection between the spouses".

Carla Bruni
Born Turin 1967, into a wealthy manufacturing family
Family moves to France in early 1970s
Begins modelling in her teens
Linked with a string of famous men including Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton and Kevin Costner
2001 begins relationship with French philosopher Raphael Enthoven; they have a son
2002 releases her first album which proves a surprise hit
2007 meets Nicolas Sarkozy at a Paris dinner party

Mr Lebel called it a "historic moment" and said it was the first time a French president had married while in office, though historians pointed out that President Gaston Doumergue married in 1931, 12 days before leaving office.

Mr Sarkozy and Ms Bruni reportedly met in November, soon after Mr Sarkozy's divorce.

They went public with their relationship during a visit to Disneyland Paris, and they remained in the spotlight during trips to Egypt and Jordan.

Mr Sarkozy had hinted that a marriage was imminent.

Ms Bruni is a singer and former model who has a son from a former relationship.

Her past liaisons with Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton have been analysed in great detail and near-naked photographs of her from her modelling days have been dug out for the centrespreads.

Mr Sarkozy has a 10-year-old son, Louis, from his marriage to Cecilia and two sons, Pierre, 22, and Jean, 21, from his first marriage to Marie-Dominique Culioli.

The publicity surrounding Mr Sarkozy's personal life has come as a surprise in a country which is used to presidents keeping their love lives private.

Mr Sarkozy's approval ratings have suffered a drop during his courtship with Ms Bruni - and much of France's media puts the blame on the over-exposure of his private life.

Profile: Carla Bruni
15 Jan 08 |  Europe
Profile: Nicolas Sarkozy
16 May 07 |  Europe
Carla Bruni avoids protocol issue
22 Jan 08 |  South Asia
Sarkozy romance sparks furore
07 Jan 08 |  Europe

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