As Valerie Trierweiler tries to draw a line for the fracas surrounding her private life with French president Francois Hollande, her predecessor Carla Bruni has suggested it would be easier if she were married and not a mere presidential partner.
Bruni, a supermodel-turned-singer married the then president Nicolas Sarkozy less than three months after meeting him.
"I can only speak from my own experience but I think it's more simple to be the legitimate wife of the head of state than his partner," the Guardian quoted her as telling French Elle magazine.
"The French presidency is an official status that implies official situations. Maybe I'm wrong and their choice is modern, but for my part, I felt a real easing of the general concern about me when I married Nicolas.
"Curiously, it's through that private undertaking that I found my place in public life," she said.
Trierweiler, a journalist at Paris Match magazine, has been Hollande's partner for about seven years.
Their relationship, dubbed a political "psychodrama", has been the source of intense scrutiny and a recent rush of books.
Hollande, who was once seen as a plodding "Mr Normal," has been depicted as having a private life more complex than the three-times-married Sarkozy.
Trierweiler is twice divorced, while Hollande, who had a relationship of more than 20 years with Segolene Royal, has never been married. (ANI)