Canada’s prime minister has announced he is separating from his wife of 18 years.
Justin Trudeau and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau announced to the world on Aug. 2 that they are ending their relationship after “many meaningful and difficult conversations.”
“We have made the decision to separate,” wrote Trudeau in an Instagram post. “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.”
“For the well-being of our children, we ask that you respect our and their privacy,” added the prime minister.
His office confirmed that the former couple has signed a “legal separation agreement.”
“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,” said PMO spokesperson Alison Murphy in the statement, per CTV News.
Trudeau and Gregoire Trudeau, who first met as children and were reintroduced as adults, have been together since 2003 and got married on May 28, 2005 in Montreal. They share three children, Xavier, Ella-Grace and Hadrien.
They have both discussed the challenges in their relationship with the media on multiple occasions.
“Together for 19 years, married for 17, we have navigated through sunny days, heavy storms, and everything in between and it ain’t over,” said Gregoire Trudeau on social media while commemorating their wedding anniversary in 2022. “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.”
During a talk show interview, Trudeau once said the start of their relationship did not go smoothly and that he “had to fix a few things.”
“Let’s just say we were both in a bit of a complicated phase in our personal lives,” Trudeau said, per Narcity. “As soon as I met Sophie, I knew it was something serious with a lot of potential.”
The couple reportedly separated for a period during 2020 although the Trudeaus never commented on the rumor. The couple praised one another in social media posts shared for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day this year.
Gregoire Trudeau does not have a formal role as the prime minister’s wife. She previously worked as a television host and became the National Volunteer for the Canadian Mental Health Association in February 2022.
Trudeau is the second international leader to announce a marital separation in recent months. Prime Minister Sanna Marin of Finland announced in May that she and her husband Markus Raikkonen were divorcing after three years of marriage and 19 years together. The pair share one daughter.