French President Nicolas Sarkozy has revealed that he likes to indulge in what has been called the hobby of kings - stamp collecting
Apparently he has been a stamp collector since he was a young boy and his collection is growing into one of the most impressive in the world. He now has the help of international leaders in filling his albums.
It's not the first time that a head of state has revealed a passion for philately. American president Franklin D Roosevelt was a stamp buff, as were a host of royals - England's King George V, King Farouk of Egypt, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, Prince Rainier III of Monaco, and King Carol II of Romania.
And there have been a few celebrities, too - John Lennon and Freddie Mercury. Not a very rock 'n roll pastime, but it appears that for them it was a childhood hobby.
It is interesting that Mr Sarkozy has chosen to reveal this insight into his character, because stamp collecting is not a hobby that people generally readily own up to, says Geoff Anandappa, investment portfolio manager at philatelic auctioneers Stanley Gibbons.
Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova, for one, regretted letting on that she enjoyed poring over albums.
In reply to a question by a journalist: "You're a stamp collector then?" she laughed and said "Oh God, stop. Everyone's calling me a dork now."
But Mr Sarkozy and his wife obviously . . .
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