Pregnancy rumours swell as Carla Bruni-Sarkozy takes a break from public life

While she was by her husband's side in Marseille on Monday, France's first lady has been largely absent from public life in the last month sparking reports she is expecting her first baby with Nicolas Sarkozy  

Since her glamorous arrival on the political scene, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy has been a regular fixture by the side of her husband and garnered a reputation as one of the most stylish states ladies.

So her recent absence from official engagements has not gone unnoticed. 

Despite an appearance alongside her husband this week, France's first lady has cancelled many of her commitments in the last month including those with charities and her pop career.

Instead she has been enjoying an extended holiday at her mum's Riviera villa - and sparked reports she is pregnant.

Speculation that President Nicolas Sarkozy is to become a father again were fuelled by his friend Jacques Seguela.

The Parisian business man, who introduced the couple two years ago, confirmed: "Nicolas and Carla are very keen to have a child."

"Carla has admitted as much on a number of occasions, otherwise I would not be allowed to say this."

"They are a young couple, and like all young couples, they want to start a family."

French leader Nicolas, 54, is already a father to three sons from his two previous marriage as well as two stepdaughters. Meanwhile Carla, 41, is mum to a nine-year-old boy, Aurelian.

The couple married last year at a private ceremony in the Elysee Palace on February 2. Their nuptials took place three months after their whirlwind romance began after Mr Seguela brought them together at a dinner party.

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