They came… we saw… she conquered…
The State visit to Britain by French President, Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife, Carla Bruni drew widespread attention not the least from the massed ranks of photographers and televison crews keen to record the couple’s every step. No cliche was left unturned as members of the press vied with one another to describe their partnership.
But… a state visit by a French President would always draw interest, and with the added glamour angle you had a winning formulae. The drab world of formal visits was to be given a makeover - I for one hoped so. In my view, the visit was not so much a breath of fresh air blowing away the cobwebs, but a mix of contrasting elements standing together. With this visit we hoped to see contrasts of age, style and appearance. In addition the sense of anticipation was heightened because the people involved represented the historic differences between the English and the French. Would they come together in a new entente cordiale? Would the charge be led by the French President? Not on your life, it was led by his wife, the amabassador extraordinaire.
Did Carla Bruni-Sarkozy disapoint? Here are the photographs, judge for yourselves.
(Apologies for the cliches and metaphors – all of them mixed)
France’s first lady Carla Bruni is off to a good start as she rides in a carriage with Britain’s Prince Philip on route to Windsor Castle. Photograph by: Darren Staples
Bruni rides in a carriage on route to Windsor Castle. Photograph by: Darren Staples
Usually there are are so many obstacles that either get in the way or need to be included in a photograph, that simple clean shots can often be missed. Here is a good example of a simple but solid picture of Bruni with Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle. Photograph by:Kieran Doherty
This photograph shows the many contrasting elements of the visit, as Bruni speaks with Prince Philip during the welcoming ceremony at Windsor Castle. Photograph by : Philippe Wojazer
It’s wasn’t all about Bruni of course, and we needed a pciture of her husband too. However, his expression tells us more about her (or, at least, his feelings for her) than about the situation. She is applauding him after his address to members of both Houses of Parliament at Westminster. Photograph by: Stephen Hird
Another example of the expression on the faces of others telling us something about Bruni herself, as she and Nicolas Sarkozy meet war veterans after laying a wreath at the statue of General de Gaulle in London. Photograph by: Darren Staples
The mood of the moment captured perfectly as Sarkozy and Bruni share a laugh as he delivers a speech at a meeting with the French community in London. Photograph by: Philippe Wojazer
Here is another example of a simple, clean and effective photograph as Bruni visits the Royal Naval College in Greenwich. Photograph by: Kieran Doherty
Bruni could hardly put a foot wrong, all she had to do was turn up to impress, as she proved when she arrived for a state banquet at the Guildhall. Photograph by: Stephen Hird