“For the moment we don’t know the little girl’s name,” a source in the first lady’s inner circle confirmed to AFP, as the world’s media gathered near the La Muette clinic in Paris and Sarkozy returned from talks on the future of the eurozone in Frankfurt.
Sarkozy arrived at the clinic shortly before 11:00 pm (local time), just over three hours after the birth.
“It happened between 7:00 and 7:30 pm. Everything went well,” a second source told AFP. The staff at the clinic has been reminded of the strict duty of medical confidentiality, and Sarkozy’s office was silent.
The girl is the French first couple’s first baby since their marriage in 2008, although Bruni has one 10-year-old son from a previous relationship and thrice-married Sarkozy has three aged 14 to 26.
The baby is also the first born to a serving French president.
In an interview pre-recorded for a French state television broadcast due today, Bruni-Sarkozy said she had not known the baby’s sex: “We’ve arranged for it to be a big surprise. Obviously, a nice surprise.”
Sarkozy had earlier in the day visited his 43-year-old wife in the Paris clinic for half-an-hour, but was forced to jet off to Germany for crisis talks on the eurozone sovereign debt crisis before the birth itself.
He left Frankfurt just before the birth was announced, after talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel, IMF director Christine Lagarde and the current and next heads of the European Central Bank Jean-Claude Trichet and Mario Draghi.