Germany's new first lady lends glamour to top job

Fri Jul 2, 2010 9:19am EDT
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By Erik Kirschbaum

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's new first lady Bettina Wulff has been turning heads with her towering height, striking looks, glamorous outfits -- and a large tattoo on her right shoulder.

The 36-year-old communications manager, who met her husband on a business trip, became an instant media darling in Germany even before Christian Wulff, 51, was sworn into office Friday as Germany's youngest postwar president.

Bettina Wulff, a single mother before Wulff abandoned his wife of 18 years for her, has been compared in German media with Carla Bruni and Michelle Obama: young, dynamic and independent.

All three first ladies have been called the epitome of modern women in their respective countries. All have won praise for their fashion awareness and trendsetting styles, and symbolize a new generation.

"Will Bettina Wulff become Germany's Michelle Obama?" asked Bunte, a celebrity magazine, about Germany's first lady.

There were as many pictures of Bettina Wulff in a tight black dress -- discreetly covering her shoulder tattoo -- in German newspapers after his election Wednesday than there were of Christian, Germany's 10th post-war president.

"Picking her was the best decision Wulff ever made," wrote Die Zeit newspaper. "Germany will have a First Lady whose picture soldiers will love pinning up in their lockers."

RISKY DIVORCE   Continued...

<p>Newly sworn-in German President Christian Wulff and his wife Bettina stand in front of the presidential residence Bellevue palace, after a welcoming ceremony in Berlin July 2, 2010. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch</p>