News The former first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy

The former first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, is threatening legal action after an online petition asked her to repay nearly €410,000 (£354,000) used to fund her website while her husband was President.

Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife, Carla Bruni, on the campaign trail

Nicolas Sarkozy’s election excess pushes party to the brink of bankruptcy

UMP – already heavily in debt – ordered to pay back €11m state subsidy after campaign overspend

David Beckham is seen at the Pitie-Salpetriere hospital for his medical examination in Paris

'Le Spice Boy' comes to Paris! French excitement reaches fever pitch as David Beckham signs for PSG

Excitement and speculation thrived today. Would Victoria also be coming? And all those children with the odd names?

France's 'First Lady' Valérie Trierweiler sends letter to her employer Paris Match threatening legal action if they print photos of her in a bikini

It was the snap that France’s celebrity glossies had been waiting for - the presidential couple in their smalls on their summer break.

The former French president and his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy were not at the mansion as it was raided

Sarkozy is not above the law any more

Ex-French president's campaign finances are being probed and he is not getting an easy ride. By John Lichfield

Sarkozy’s home raided by police in campaign funding inquiry

Alleged illegal donations from L’Oréal heiress probed after former leader loses immunity

Valerie Trierweiler insists she will continue to work

A question of protocol for France's new First Lady Valerie Trierweiler

François Hollande and his partner, Valerie Trierweiler, face two pressing questions which usually dog much younger couples. Should they get married? And where will they live?

Carla Bruni Sarkozy's judgement regarding what to wear and when and how to wear it is faultless

Carla Bruni Sarkozy: Au revoir to France's first lady of style

Carla Bruni Sarkozy may have her detractors but never let it be said that she doesn’t know how to dress.

Nicolas Sarkozy with his wife, Carla Bruni

Premières Dames past and present join election pantomime

François Hollande's girlfriend is furious with President Nicolas Sarkozy. So is his former wife, Cécilia.

Alice Cooper was at the Houses of Parliament in London yesterday to sign up as a patron of the Rock the House music competition run by the Tory MP Mike Weatherley. Rock the House is an annual contest which promotes live music and awareness of intellectual property rights

Diary: Is Sarkozy fit for renewal of historic hostilities?

The regrettable spat that has erupted between our Prime Minister and the French President prompts some in the Tory ranks to excitably predict that their man would come out on top in the event of historic hostilities ever having to get physical again.

The birth of First Baby Giulia is greeted with a yawn

Baby, what baby? France, or part of France, greeted the birth of President Nicolas Sarkozy's daughter with an ostentatious yawn yesterday.

France greets the birth of the First Baby with a yawn

John Lichfield wonders whether Sarkozy was trying to score political points by dashing off to euro crisis talks

France's 'First Baby' arrives – after Sarko departs for summit

It's a girl, and a nation is gripped. Well, all except her father – he had the euro to take care of...

Duchess Catherine among Vanity Fair's Best Dressed

Duchess Catherine has been named one of the world's best dressed women.

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy 'expecting baby'

The expectant granddad has spilled the beans: Nicolas Sarkozy's father told Germany's top-selling newspaper that France's model-turned-singer first lady is pregnant.

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
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Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
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The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit director Peter Jackson with his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
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Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
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Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'