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Sarkozy told to ‘behave’ with the Queen

FRANCE’S often reverential media urged hyperactive President Nicolas Sarkozy to be on his best behaviour during his two-day state visit to Britain and offered plentiful advice on how he should deal with Queen Elizabeth.

Sarkozy arrived in London with his glamorous new wife, Carla Bruni, earlier on Wednesday and had lunch with the queen, who threw a state dinner in their honour on Wednesday  evening.
“Avoid getting excessively agitated in the (royal) carriage,” Le Monde newspaper advised the president.
The paper also recommended that Sarkozy should not answer his mobile phone in front of the queen, wear his Ray-Ban sunglasses or look at his Rolex watch — except in emergencies.
Sarkozy was spotted checking his phone for messages during an audience with Pope Benedict last year and has come under withering attack at home for his sometimes unorthodox comportment and celebrity lifestyle.
His opinion poll ratings have plunged in recent months, forcing him to tone down the glitz, and some French newspapers saw the ceremonial state visit to Britain as a perfect opportunity to brush up his reputation.
“For a president criticised by the French for his bling-bling tendencies, an official photo with the doyenne of world monarchs … could help improve his image,” Le Parisien daily wrote, offering advice on how to avoid fresh controversy.
“Don’t speak first to the queen … don’t ask her personal questions … don’t touch her … don’t walk in front of her … don’t smoke in front of her … don’t complain … don’t rise from the table before her,” it said.
Sarkozy’s predecessor Jacques Chirac was accused by the British press of having committed a gaffe in 2004 when it appeared he had touched the queen on the shoulder as he lead her to her car. “Hands Off!” the Daily Mail wrote.
Although Sarkozy’s behaviour will be closely monitored, the person who looked certain to face the most scrutiny was his new bride — supermodel-turned-popstar Carla Bruni.
Le Figaro daily said she would follow a strict protocol and had prepared for the trip in “minute detail”.
Some British papers published on Wednesday a nude photo of Carla Bruni dating from her modelling days, but as if to prove such escapades belonged firmly to her past, the French first lady appeared in very modest attire on Wednesday. She was the first to step off the official French plane at Heathrow airport wearing a knee-length grey coat and a pillbox hat, black belt, black shoes and black gloves, and dutifully curtsied when she met the queen.
But Le Parisien suggested she would have to brighten up for dinner, saying the queen didn’t like dull colours like grey or black. “It is synonymous with mourning.” — Reuters.

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