Britain fell in love with France's First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy when she visited the country in March. Now the Italian-born beauty has revealed that she feels the same way.
Admitting that at first she was a little worried about the trip – her first state visit to the UK with husband President Nicolas Sarkozy – the model-cum-singer says the kindness of the Queen and Prince Philip quickly put her at ease.
"The royal family makes being with them very easy because they are so considerate," says the 40-year-old. "They talk to you with huge kindness."
Speaking in fluent French, the Queen and her husband were attentive hosts. "Prince Philip showed us to our bedroom. He told us it was the room in which his mother and grandmother were born," Carla says. "All these things were fascinating. They made the protocol lighter to bear and they helped me to enter their lives."
And it seems the Queen made a particularly strong impression. Describing her as "an exquisite person", Carla adds: "She is everything you would imagine of a queen."
As for the British, she says: "I must tell you that I adore the British, because they’re eccentric, they’re very traditional and at the same time they’re very original."