Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie are separating after 18 years of marriage, marking an end to an unusually high-profile partnership for a leader from the country.
(Bloomberg) — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie are separating after 18 years of marriage, marking an end to an unusually high-profile partnership for a leader from the country.
Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, 48, a former television reporter in her home province of Quebec, has been on the campaign trail with Trudeau, 51, through three elections and has championed the causes of women’s rights and mental health.
The couple announced their separation on Wednesday, while also signaling they plan to continue to spend time together with their children, including on a family holiday next week.
“After many meaningful and difficult conversations, we have made the decision to separate,” the pair said in identical statements on Instagram.
“As always, we remain a close family with deep love and respect for each other and for everything we have built and will continue to build.”
The couple has three children: Xavier, 15, Ella Grace, 14, and Hadrien, nine.
In a country where the personal lives of politicians are typically left alone, the Trudeau family attracted a rare level of attention both at home and internationally. Vogue magazine published a splashy spread of the couple shortly after Trudeau was first elected to office in 2015.
Read more: Pugnacious Trudeau Steps Out of Father’s Shadow Into Power
That global celebrity is an echo of his father Pierre, who served as prime minister through the 1970s and early 1980s, and whose wife Margaret famously partied with the Rolling Stones and other stars on trips to New York City.
Trudeau’s father also ended his marriage while in office. In 1977, nine years after being elected as prime minister, Pierre Trudeau announced he and Margaret were separating. Justin Trudeau was five years old at the time.
On Wednesday afternoon, Trudeau’s office released a statement saying the couple has signed a legal separation agreement, but will still be vacationing together starting next week.
“They remain a close family and Sophie and the prime minister are focused on raising their kids in a safe, loving and collaborative environment. Both parents will be a constant presence in their children’s lives and Canadians can expect to often see the family together,” the office said.
When US President Joe Biden visited Canada in March, Gregoire Trudeau took First Lady Jill Biden on an excursion through Ottawa, including a visit to a local curling rink.
She also has a two-book deal with Penguin Random House Canada. The first, on wellness for adults, will be published in 2024 and the second, a picture book for children, is set for 2025.
Trudeau has credited his wife with helping to shape his feminist politics, which have led to such decisions as creating a gender-balanced cabinet and focusing Canada’s foreign policy on the empowerment of women.
–With assistance from Laura Dhillon Kane.
(Updates with family history starting in eighth paragraph)
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