Canada PM Trudeau and wife Sophie separate after 18 years of marriage

Decision came after ‘many meaningful and difficult conversations’, couple said

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie have announced they are separating after 18 years of marriage.

The couple have talked frankly in the past about difficulties in their high-profile marriage and in recent years were seen less often together in public.

Mr Trudeau (51) and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau (48) were married in May 2005 and have three children, aged 15, 14 and nine. On their anniversary in 2020, he described her as “my rock, my partner, and my best friend”.

“Sophie and I would like to share the fact that after many meaningful and difficult conversations, we have made the decision to separate,” Mr Trudeau said on Instagram. Ms Gregoire Trudeau posted an almost identical message on her own Instagram account.


The Canadian Broadcasting Corp said public safety minister Dominic LeBlanc, one of Mr Trudeau’s closest allies, would brief members of the cabinet.The CBC also said Mr Trudeau was likely to speak publicly about the separation this week.

Mr Trudeau’s office said the two had signed a legal agreement, stressing the couple would focus on raising their children. The family will go on holiday together next week.

A source said the couple would have joint custody of the children.

The couple made the announcement a week after Mr Trudeau unveiled a cabinet reshuffle in a bid to boost the fortunes of his Liberal Party, which is trailing in the polls. Aides said he was determined to lead the Liberals into the next election, which must be held by October 2025.

Ms Gregoire Trudeau, an advocate for gender equality who studied commerce at university, was working as a reporter when she met Mr Trudeau in 2003. They married two years later.

In the early years after Mr Trudeau took office, the couple were often seen together at social functions and on foreign trips.

Mr Trudeau, though, made clear even before he became prime minister that the two had faced challenges, writing in his autobiography Common Ground in 2014 that “our marriage isn’t perfect, and we have had difficult ups and downs”.

In recent years, Ms Gregoire Trudeau has curtailed joint appearances with her husband. On their wedding anniversary last year, she said in a social media post that “we have navigated through sunny days, heavy storms, and everything in between and it ain’t over”.

She went on: “long-term relationships are challenging in so many ways”.

Mr Trudeau’s father, former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, separated from his wife, Margaret, in 1977, when he was in office. – Reuters