Only in France. Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, the superstar model-turned-songstress with a freewheeling lifestyle, now hands the job of first lady to a twice-divorced journalist who's the first presidential partner to enter the Elysee Palace without a ring on her finger.
And as Valerie Trierweiler prepares for her new role alongside President-elect Francois Hollande, in the wings is the woman whose man she stole — Segolene Royal, the mother of Hollande's four children and a former presidential candidate now seeking her own seat of political power.
So what's happening in the land of French officialdom, where protocol and social niceties still count? Will Trierweiler's name be listed on formal invitations to presidential events, even though she's not his spouse?
It's the head of state who decides, so where's the problem?
Intrigue, love lost, love found and power struggles accompanied the new first couple on their journey to the presidency, which Hollande takes over from Nicolas Sarkozy on May 15. The Hollande-Trierweiler couple gave each other a big kiss on the mouth at the victory fete watched by cheering thousands at the Bastille.
Image: This combination of three file photos shows, on the left, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Segolene Royal in the center and Valerie Trierweiler on the right.
Images and Text: AP