Sarah Brown, the wife of Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, promised to provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the G8 Summit in L’Aquila, Italy, when she began a blog about the “spouses’ summit”.
Sarah Brown and the other G8 spouses will be hosted at the three-day summit in L’Aquila by Clio, wife of Italian president Giorgio Napolitano Photo: PA
Mrs Brown and the other G8 spouses will be hosted at the three-day summit in L’Aquila by Clio, wife of Italian president Giorgio Napolitano, as PM Silvio Berlusconi is currently going through a divorce.
While the world leaders are tied up in meetings on the economy, climate change and aid, the wives – and one husband – will follow an alternative programme, including visits to people affected by the devastating earthquake which struck the town in April and an audience at lunchtime today with Pope Benedict XVI.
The two most glamorous spouses, Michelle Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy’s pop star wife Carla Bruni, are expected to miss the meeting with the Pope – Mrs Obama because she and her husband have a separate meeting and Ms Bruni because she is arriving at the summit late.
In her first post on the G8 blog Mrs Brown said she was looking forward to meeting up with the other “first ladies”.
“Up at the crack of dawn to set off for the G8 in Italy!” she wrote. “There’s a busy few days ahead for me as part of the spouses programme while Gordon is at the summit.
“But I’m really looking forward to meeting up with the ‘other halves’ – some of them I have met before from last year’s G8 and the G20 in London. They are all very interesting people and I’m hoping to get to know them better and to discuss some of the issues that we all feel strongly about.
“It looks like we have some interesting visits lined up. There is some time planned in L’Aquila, the venue for the G8, to meet people affected by the devastating earthquake there in April, as well as visits to some great organisations and historical sites in Rome.
“Hopefully I can give you a flavour of what we have been doing through this blog – and I’m planning to post plenty of pictures from the trip, so make sure you check back regularly.”