To a chorus of clicking cameras, and the occasional giggle, their eyes met across a room crowded with journalists and ministers from both sides of the Rhine.
The couple seemed slightly self-conscious as they spoke of their happy "engagement", of pride in their union, of their mutual admiration, even of families, of jealousy and how they were now as one.
She used the German equivalent of the royal "we" (as in, "we agree" and, "we are working hand in hand"); he said "Madame Merkel and I", several times, insisting he was "speaking for us both".
She invited him to visit her parliament; he took her for lunch in his palace. Later, they would give their first joint television interview.
All that was missing was the ring.
It may not be true love, but Europe's oddest couple – the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, nicknamed the Merkozys – were, in the words of the Gallic suitor, "getting on better and better".
The political marriage is especially convenient for Sarkozy, with just 80 days to go to a presidential election that he is currently on track to lose – if and when he announces he is a candidate, which he was at pains to point out he had not, yet.
Merkel has made it clear that if and when Sarkozy does decide to stand for a second term in office, she will actively campaign on his behalf.
This, she explained, was perfectly "normal". "We are from the same political family," she said. "In the legislative elections in May 2009, he came to Berlin to give me his support. I don't see where is the problem."
Asked – twice – about the presidential frontrunner, François Hollande, Merkel made it clear he was just not her type.
Sarkozy declared himself "very happy", but said this was more than just a matter of personal feelings or even of amour-propre.
"When she speaks, she speaks for the whole of Germany, not just those of the left or the right; and it is the same when I speak: I speak for France. People who don't understand this don't know us very well: our countries are more important than we are."
He was, he added, "happy and proud" that after all that had "happened between Germany and France", he and the chancellor were getting on so well and "speaking with the same voice".
"We are friends; we are allies; we understand each other better and better," he said.
Top of the agenda at Monday's joint cabinet session between the pair and a retinue of government ministers, was the eurozone debt crisis and the continuing bloodshed in Syria. But with polls reportedly showing that around 82% of the French approve of close ties with Germany, Sarkozy is hoping Merkel's support will be a vote-winner.
The Elysée spokesman Franck Louvrier told Le Figaro the interview would demonstrate the solidity of the German leader's relationship with Sarkozy when French people understood that "the destiny of France and that of Germany are linked".
The Germans criticised Merkel for being too close to him, and the French criticised him for being too close to her, Sarkozy said, "so I suspect we've got the right balance".
At one point, Sarkozy seemed ready to launch into a list of all the things he admired about his German partner: her confidence, her ability to compromise, her comparatively low unemployment rate. He spoke of the time they had sat up all night discussing the eurozone crisis. "I admire Madame Merkel. She runs her country well," he added. "But we don't want to be jealous. We want to be inspired.
"Good for them if their unemployment is dropping," he muttered, with just a hint of jealousy.
Mrs Merkel nodded: "I agree completely. We agree with each other."
The Merkozys may be "personally engaged", to the mutual political interest of both, but there is unlikely to be a honeymoon in the near future.
Greece was certainly out: the European ally had to remember it had responsibilities as well as rights, said Mr Sarkozy sternly, again insisting he was speaking for both of them; Italy was a possibility since Rome's handling of its economic woes had been "spectacular", he added.