Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau are separating after 18 years of marriage. The pair announced the break up in matching statements shared to their Instagram accounts on Wednesday morning.
They shared that the decision came after “many meaningful and difficult conversations.”
“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 twin statements read.
The Trudeaus also asked that their privacy be respected for the well-being of their children — the couple has three children together, Xavier, 16, Ella-Grace, 14, and Hadrien, who is nine.
According to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the pair have “signed a legal separation agreement,” but Canadians can expect to still see the family together — the statement confirmed that the couple will still be going on vacation together next week.
“They have worked to ensure that all legal and ethical steps with regards to their decision to separate have been taken, and will continue to do so moving forward,” PMO spokesperson Alison Murphy noted in the statement.
The pair began dating after co-hosting the Montreal Grand Prix charity ball in 2003, but they knew of each other before that — Grégoire Trudeau went to school with Trudeau’s youngest brother.
They’ve both expressed the hardships of navigating a relationship together — Grégoire Trudeau wrote in an Instagram caption last year that the duo have “navigated through sunny days, heavy storms, and everything in between” in their relationship. “You all know I keep things honest: long-term relationships are challenging in so many ways. They demand constant work, flexibility, compromise, sacrifice, devotion, patience, effort, and so much more,” she wrote of her relationship with Trudeau.
Trudeau witnessed his parents, former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau and Margaret Trudeau, deal with a separation in 1977, while his father was also in-office. The impact of politics on a relationship is something he reflected on in his 2014 memoir, looking back on his parents’ separation and on the discussions he and Grégroire Trudeau had about his decision to go into politics.
Going forward, Grégoire Trudeau has a two-book deal with Penguin Random House Canada that she is likely working on — the first book, “Closer Together: Knowing Ourselves, Loving Each Other,” is set to be released in the spring of 2024. And Trudeau will be busy with the cabinet reshuffling he oversaw last week in an attempt to give the Liberal party a fresh start after eight years in power.