Outgoing French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, 44, is a singer/songwriter, actress, former international supermodel, and mother of two. But we already know about Carla, who even made a cameo in Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris. France's new "unofficial" first lady, Valérie Trierweiler, will bring a different flavor to the Elysée Palace. She's 47, a working journalist, a graduate of the Sorbonne, a mother of three teenage sons, and the unmarried companion of the president elect, François Hollande. She's written about politics since 1989, but moved to arts and culture last year after François Hollande began campaigning. Valérie says she will keep working when her partner becomes president on May 15.
While Americans are just getting to know her, Valérie has made headlines for speaking up for women's rights. She once slapped another journalist after he made a sexist comment, and after her employer, Paris Match, published a photo of her on its cover, calling her François Hollande's "charm asset," she tweeted: "Bravo Paris Match for its sexism on international women's day. Thoughts to all angry women." If you want an excuse to practice your high school French, you can follow the soon-to-be first lady @valtrier.
Valérie seems like a reluctant political spouse, something she shares with Carla, who once said she wished her husband wouldn't seek reelection, explaining, "Perhaps I wish to live what time we have left in some peace?" Valérie has admitted, "What I'm scared of is losing my liberty. I am not seeking notoriety and I am not seeking to grab the limelight." And like Carla, who became the second first lady under Sarkozy after she married the newly divorced president after a short courtship, Valérie offers some relationship intrigue. Valérie and François became a public item in 2007, shortly after his partner of 30 years, Ségolène Royal, lost to Nicolas Sarkozy. Check out photos of Valérie out on the campaign trail with her partner François now.