Carla's casebook

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I am a 40-year-old former supermodel turned singer, and new first lady of France. Now my husband wants me to help him seduce the people of Grande Bretagne, but look what their dreadful tabloid newspapers are doing to me on my first day! How can I win them over?


Arrival, Wednesday



Nicolas (Sarkozy, my husband, who is the President) has his nuclear power. I have the power of fashion to help me. Here is the first of my many outfits for this trip, all designed by John Galliano for Christian Dior. (They will not go on sale until June.) An Englishman at a French design house? Entente incroyable! Hmm. That is a nice phrase. Perhaps I should mention it to Nicolas ...

Heathrow Airport, Wednesday
Enchanting manners, the Prince of Wales. I was assured that the hat of his wife was not alive. You see from the circle that Nicolas has stack heels. I wear flat shoes, so as not to overshadow him. He is a powerful and attractive man, my husband. He is not, however, a tall man

Westminster, Wednesday
Nicolas held my hand for a moment at Windsor Castle – until the Queen frowned. Public displays of affection are not à la mode in her household, it seems. Here, on the way to lay a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Warrior, Nicolas whispers that his flame is still burning

The Queen, Wednesday
Curtseying to Her Majesty at Windsor. A quick dip, with knees together. The practice was worth it! Grey is the colour of the season, my friends at Dior say. This is me as Jackie Kennedy – not, as someone very rude said, an old-fashioned air hostess

The Duke, Wednesday
He is a witty man, Prince Philip. The wittiest in the world, or so my intense attentions were designed to say. The joke was something about having frogs for lunch. Doesn't Nicolas look a tiny bit jealous? Sales of my album trebled this week, they say – but only in Windsor. Prince Philip, merci bien!

'Daily Mail', Thursday
"What a difference a day makes!" Indeed. Today there are 17 pictures of me in this publication alone, including the naked one from 1993. Christie's is to auction the original print, and chose this week to say so. I wonder why. I saw Nicolas slip a clipping into his snakeskin wallet. This time, the 'Mail' feels no need to cover my breasts. The whole nation is getting to know me

House of Lords, Thursday
The perfect pose for an adoring wife, hand under chin as I appear to listen attentively. Nicolas speaks of an "entente amicale". Nice phrase. Unfortunately, some of their lordships appear to pay more attention to my ankles

Downing Street, Thursday
He is surprisingly affectionate, this Prime Minister. Nicolas, however, has a little more savoir faire with les femmes. I lunch with the impressive Madame Brown, Annie Lennox and other women. They are most surprised that I eat the ice-cream

The Guildhall, Thursday night
My final flourish in the UK, and no more grey. Silk by Dior (bien sûr) in Bordeaux red, the last of seven outfits in 48 hours. My bare shoulders are deemed inappropriate, and I am handed an ugly shawl. The Lord Mayor did not mind!

'The Sun', Friday
The story is about our boat trip, but the headline says it is me the tabloids love. "Carlamania?" Fantastique! I thank my etiquette coach, I thank Dior, but most of all I thank mon Dieu that newspaper editors are still mostly middle-aged men ...

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