Last week, it was announced that French President, Nicolas Sarkozy would make his first official visit to Andorra July 29. It was not confirmed whether or not his wife, Mrs. Carla Bruni-Sarkozy would also be in attendance. Interestingly, Sarkozy is the Co-Prince of Andorra, a title he shares with the Bishop of La Seu d’Urgell in Spain. These two “Princes” allow us to call ourselves a Principality.
Wait a minute…hold on…the French President is also a Prince? Doesn’t that sort of defeat the whole Republic of France thing? Isn’t that a bit, oh I don’t know, unrepublican? The answer is yes, but Mr. Sarkozy didn’t get much choice, the Principality has existed for centuries (except back then, real French kings were given the title co-Prince of Andorra, until they cut off their heads – then we took a brief hiatus from the whole Principality thing until Napoleon reinstated it).
These days Andorra is a bit like a thorn in Mr. Sarkozy’s side. He campaigned last year at the G20 to clamp down on fiscal paradises demanding more transparency. He campaigned so much that his colleagues felt they should kindly remind him he was the co-Prince of Andorra… then he found himself in a bit of a sticky situation. So, our relationship with our co-Prince… well…it’s complicated. And like so many royal families, we smile and keep up with appearances. They’ll be handshakes and smiles all around in July.
But let’s get back to Carla. Our favorite supermodel, come recording artist, turned France’s First Lady is the Princess of Andorra (if her husband is co-Prince, it only makes sense right?) She’s beautiful and cool, plays the guitar and did I mention she dated Mick Jagger for seven years? In the US, politicians are often Hollywood stars, so why not here too? Carla sure could do a whole lot for the brand called Andorra.
We may not be the glitz and glamour that is Monaco, but for many reasons, that’s a good thing. If Monaco is all about Ferrari’s parked out on the street, than Andorra is more about the Ferrari’s parked in the garage. It’s all here you just don’t see it. And with Princess Carla cruising our streets, Andorra might finally climb onto the world stage and get noticed, even if it is with our awkward royal relatives…