French President Nicholas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy became proud parents of a baby girl on Thursday. Carla Bruni was 3 weeks overdue and was reportedly eager for the baby to be born. The delivery took place at the La Muette clinic in Paris.

News of the birth spread quickly but there was no official confirmation from the Elysée Palace. The news was later confirmed by Bruni's staff. Sarkozy is reported to have spent half-an-hour with his wife, on this big day, before heading for a meeting in Germany, French newspaper, The Connexion reported.

The Elysée Palace has given no further information on Bruni's pregnancy but she herself, in a TF1 TV interview, indicated that she would not allow any pictures of the child to be used.

I will do everything to protect this child. I will never show pictures of this child, I will never expose this child. I think exposure to public life is a choice to be made by an adult, said the new mother.

The actual delivery was in conditions of utmost secrecy, with the couple doing their best to keep the whole affair under wraps. However, Italian-born Bruni was seen arriving at the clinic on Wednesday morning.

Bruni, who is a former supermodel turned pop-singer, said in September that she was fed with her pregnancy and couldn't wait to start drinking and smoking again.

'Quite frankly, I can't stand it anymore. I spend most of my time either sitting down or lying down. I can't drink or smoke any more. I'm in a hurry to get it over with,' the Daily Mail quoted the 43-year-old as saying.

Bruni already has a 10-year-old son from ex-boyfriend, Raphael Enthoven, a French professor of philosophy. Sarkozy, 56, has three children - Pierre, 25, Jean, 25, and 14-year-old Louis - from two previous marriages.

This is, perhaps, the biggest leap forward, in the relationship between the French President and his First Lady, which started at a dinner party in Paris, less than 4 years ago.