28 FEBRUARY 2008

Carla Bruni is having to adjust quickly to her new role as France's First Lady. Just 25 days after wedding President Nicolas Sarkozy, the glamorous 40-year-old has made her first official foreign trip with her husband. The couple stopped off in the former French colony of Chad, which has been under a state of emergency since February 15, en route for South Africa.

Despite a few signs of nerves Carla seems to be adapting to her public role. Stylish in a black dress and matching shades, the Italian model-turned singer played a supporting role to her husband, listening as he made a speech to the French community. Their one-day visit came after an attempted coup in the country's capital of N'Djamena was thwarted with French assistance.

The newlyweds then travelled on to Cape Town where the French president was due to address parliament. Next month they will be in the UK as guests of Queen Elizabeth.

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Carla looked slightly nervous as she and her husband were greeted by President Idriss Deby of Chad and his wife Hinda at the start of her first official trip Photo: © Getty Images
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Now she is France's First Lady, the Italian star – pictured listening to her husband's speech at the French embassy in Chad - is becoming accustomed to a supporting rolePhoto: © Getty Images
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The French premier gives his new wife an encouraging hug after their arrival at the presidential palace in Cape TownPhoto: © Getty Images