Tres Bien: French Presidential Couple make High-Profile Visit to Spain

  May 2, 2009 at 8:01 am by

It promised to be a headline-grabber from the start, and grab headlines it did. The first state visit of French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni to Spain last April 27 and 28 was definitely an affair no media entity would want to pass.

Click to see the images from Casa Real

Click to see the images from Casa Real

The flashy Sarkozy arrived in Spain on April 27 and was given all the pomp and trappings of the arrival ceremony given to any head of state on a state visit. He was met by King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia and other ministers of the Spanish government with military honors. At the Zarzuela, the Prince and Princess of Asturias caught up with them for a luncheon hosted by the monarchs. Their Majesties and Their Royal Highnesses would also host a gala dinner for their French visitors later in the day.

Other highlights of the trip were a French-Spanish summit, accords for greater economic partnership between the two G20 countries, and the creation of a plan for increased internal security to combat terrorism, particularly that coming from the Basque separatist group ETA. Both countries have been battling attacks from the group, with many acts of violence happening and arrests being made within the French-Spanish border.

Click to see the images from Casa Real

Click to see the images from Casa Real

Carla Bruni also had her own set of activities to do while in Spain. She joined the Queen for a visit to the Reina Sofí­a Museum, where she was late for thirty minutes after making an unscheduled visit to the Parliament, where she cooped up during Sarkozy’s speech.

But what ultimately upstaged the economic and political gains of this state visit was the media’s unrelenting coverage on Bruni and Princess Letizia. Much of the foreign media’s reportage involved how glamorous the leading ladies of the visit would be, which included the unavoidable comparisons between the above-mentioned ladies. Photographers and paparazzi had a field day shooting the women and nearly every inch of their outfits.

The visit may have been long over, but it’s still being talked about. It must be successful, then.

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