MR SARKOZY PRESENTS JK WITH FRENCH HONOUR WHILE CARLA HOSTS BENEFIT

4 FEBRUARY 2009


French premier Nicolas Sarkozy turned boy wizard novelist JK Rowling into a knight on Tuesday, bestowing upon her the Légion d'honneur.

The Harry Potter writer - elegant in a fitted black jacket, pencil skirt and Alexander McQueen stilettos, and accompanied by her husband Dr Neil Murray - was presented with France's highest order at a ceremony in the ornate ballroom of the presidential palace.

Referring to her books' baddie, Lord Voldemort, JK thanked her readers in France "for not having held a grudge against me for having given a French name to my evil character". The 43-year-old, who comes from French stock, went on to explain she picked the moniker as she needed a name which evoked "both power and exoticism".

While Mr Sarkozy was congratulating JK, his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy was busy making last minute preparations for her own official event. The day after marking her first wedding anniversary, the glam First Lady hosted a gala dinner at the French capital's historic stock exchange building, the Palais Brongniart.

Funds raised by the event go to Jewish social welfare organisations. It's a cause which has personal significance for Carla, whose husband's ancestors were of the faith.

Photo: Rex
The French president congratulates Harry Potter author JK after making her a knight in the Légion d'honneur in Paris
Photo: Getty Images
That evening his wife Carla attended a fundraising gala she'd helped organise
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