NICOLAS SARKOZY’S call for friendlier relations between France and Britain got off to a sticky start todday, with the French President embroiled in women and wine troubles as heads to Windsor Castle for dinner with the Queen.

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“It has been long enough now that we have not been at war, that we are not wrangling,” said Sarkozy. “Perhaps we can move from being cordial to being friendly. We are stronger if we work hand-in-hand.”

The snag is that one person’s “working hand-in-hand” is another’s annoying interference. Reports suggest noses have been put out of joint at Windsor Castle after Sarkozy insisted on reviewing the wine list on offer for tonight’s banquet. Windsor Castle’s huge wine cellar was laid 400 years ago and has a wide selection of vintage wines.

Meanwhile, Sarkozy’s new wife, ex-model Carla Bruni, has proved to be great copy for gossip mongers. She offered a discreetly gloved hand for Prince Charles to kiss at Heathrow today, but an old photo of her in the nude, due to be auctioned next month, has drawn much more attention.

On the business end of things, Sarkozy is set to discuss with Prime Minister Gordon Brown issues such as economics, immigration, terrorism and French managed Arsenal Football Club, at whose stadium one of their meetings is to be held.