Will She Stay? Will She Go? France's Enigmatic First Lady

No wonder then that her wardrobe choice for the presidential inauguration was not a Chanel, Dior or Yves Saint Laurent suit but a Prada dress from the latest spring/summer collection and costing a not-too-shabby $1,965.

Born in Paris to a Russian father and a Spanish mother, and now first lady of France, Madame Sarkozy seems to revel in "not being a typical first wife," according to Gordon.

When ABCNEWS.com spoke to Paris-based Peter Gumbel, a senior writer for Time magazine, he wondered aloud, "Will Cécilia even stick around as first lady? We have no idea!"

For the time being, she seems content to keep the media (and perhaps, the president) guessing.

This week alone, two conflicting reports emerged of her presumed role as first lady.

In the first, published in France's Le Figaro newspaper, presidential sources revealed that Cécilia had hired a respected diplomat, Nicolas de la Granville, to serve as an adviser to her and help her navigate the world stage, playing a complementary role to her husband.

The second report focused on her sudden disappearance from the G-8 summit in Heiligendamm, Germany. After wowing photographers and journalists in a little black dress at the G-8 leaders' dinner on Wednesday, Madame Sarkozy vanished.

She was nowhere to be seen when Laura Bush, Cherie Blair, and other first ladies gathered for the traditional photo of presidential spouses on Thursday.

A spokesman for the Elysée Palace later said: "She chose to return to Paris for personal reasons. It is her daughter Jeanne-Marie's 20th birthday and she wanted to be with her girls."

It has barely been a month since Nicolas Sarkozy became President Sarkozy and Cécilia Sarkozy became first lady of France.

In the first round, Madame Sarkozy's personal priorities seem to have triumphed over stately protocol.

But power, and presidential power in particular has a way of changing people.

In a world that has seen the wives and widows of leaders rise to political prominence in countries from the USA to India, perhaps Cécilia Sarkozy will once again assume a leading role in handling her husband's political career.

Or maybe she will return to an old dream of hers. When asked in 2004 where she hoped to be in three years' time, she replied, "Jogging in Central Park in New York."

Maeva Bambuck and Ben Barnier contributed to the reporting of this story.

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