France's first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, has given birth to a baby girl at a clinic in Paris, according to media reports.
Multiple newspapers and celebrity magazines, citing unnamed medical sources, reported earlier today that Bruni-Sarkozy, the wife of France's President Nicolas Sarkozy, went into labor shortly after she was admitted to a clinic in the fashionable 16th arrondissement of the French capital. As the news spread during the day, crowds of onlookers mixed with paparazzi and plainclothes police officers gathered outside the private clinic.
The Elysee palace, the official residence of the French head of state, has maintained a frosty silence. It has always refused to comment on Bruni-Sarkozy's pregnancy, and has said it plans no official statement to announce the birth.
Nicolas Sarkozy seems to have largely kept to his official schedule today. After attending a cabinet meeting and a working lunch, he was seen making a brief visit to the clinic before leaving for an informal get-together in Frankfurt, Germany, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in advance of meetings on Sunday in Brussels to discuss the European debt crisis. He is the first serving French president to become a father since the Fifth Republic was founded in 1958.
The couple wed in 2008 three months after their first meeting. Bruni-Sarkozy, 43, has a 10-year-old son with the philosopher Raphael Enthoven. Sarkozy, 56, has three sons from two previous marriages. He is the only French leader to have divorced and remarried while in office.