When recently-elected French president Nicolas Paul Stephane Sarkozy de Nagy-Bocsa , 52, makes his maiden trip to South Asia,
next week -- and smartly takes the salute as the chief guest at India's Republic Day parade -- will Carla Bruni be with him?
Who is she?
His fiancee? His soon-to-be fiancee? Or just a girlfriend?
These are questions that must be, right now, perplexing the Indian foreign affairs and home ministry officials coordinating the seating arrangements at the very important Republic Day function and for the official events taking place during the course of Sarkozy's four-day visit, that starts January 24.
Recent news reports emerging from Paris indicate that Sarkozy and Carla Bruni, 39, tied the knot last Thursday in a secret ceremony held at Elysee Palace, the official residence of the president.
While the French public may not welcome news of their president's marriage, it will be heartily appreciated at Delhi's South Block and will end weeks of tension for those who intricately manage protocol there.
Photograph: Turin-born former top model Carla Bruni carries the Italian flag during the opening ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympics at the 35,000-seater Stadio Olimpico in Turin in February 2006. Photograph: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images
Also read: The French president's new lady love