27 MARCH 2008

From the moment Carla Bruni appeared on the steps of her husband's private jet at Heathrow on Wednesday it was clear she had pulled out all the stops to fit impeccably into her new role on the international stage as France's First Lady. And as she and her husband began what's been hailed "the most exciting state visit in British history" the Italian model and pop star was the epitome of classic French elegance in an ensemble by Dior.

On the first day of the visit she wore four outfits created by British designer John Galliano for the French fashion label.

First up was the chic high-waisted grey coat teamed with a Sixties-style pillbox hat and flat pumps she wore upon her arrival. It was replaced by a ribbed wool suit in a similar hue for lunch with the Queen, Prince Philip and a host of dignitories at Windsor Castle.

When she and her husband headed into London after lunch Carla was wearing a grey wool dress and navy coat, again by Dior. Discreetly chic, her sartorial choices drew comparisons with former US First Lady Jackie Kennedy.

The beautiful 40-year-old took the same smartly conservative approach to Wednesday evening's state banquet at Windsor Castle. As she joined dining partners the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales at the vast table she was resplendent in a high-necked navy gown.

Photo: ©
France's new First Lady kicked off the two-day visit to Britain in a chic grey coat by Dior, prompting fashionistas to draw comparisons between her style and that of Jackie Kennedy Photo: © Getty Images Click on photos for gallery
Photo: ©
Once settled into her Windsor Castle suite Carla changed into a demure but chic wool suit, again from Dior Photo: © Rex
Photo: ©
For her outing to Westminster the former model chose another conservative ensemble - a jersey dress teamed with a navy coat Photo: © Getty Images