Royalty and statesmen

Wearing her traditional Tibetan white scarf of welcome, the pop singer wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy carried out her important duties with typical grace as she represented her husband to meet Tibet's exiled spiritual leader
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First Lady Carla as elegant as ever to greet the Dalai Lama

23 AUGUST 2008
It was perhaps the most important public occasion for Carla Bruni-Sarkozy since she became France's First Lady. And as ever, the beautiful brunette carried it off with the style and charm the world has come to expect.

Representing her husband, President Nicolas Sarkozy, for the first time, the glamorous 40-year-old met the Dalai Lama at a magnificent Buddhist temple in Languedoc, in southern France.

Elegantly stylish in a knee-length blue dress, the former supermodel was delighted to receive a traditional white scarf of welcome from Tibet's spiritual leader. After that, the laidback First Lady happily slipped off her sandals to enter the place of worship.

Carla then listened to a short homily from the 73-year-old Nobel Peace Prize-winner, who clearly had his mind on other things. To laughs, he broke off from his wise words and told the group: "I'll stop now, because our most important item today is lunch."