Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie said on Wednesday they were separating in an unexpected announcement that appeared to mark the end of the couple’s 18-year high-profile marriage.
Trudeau, 51, and Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, 48, were married in late May 2005. They have three children, the eldest of whom is 15.
For Trudeau there are also painful historical parallels. His father, former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, separated from his wife Margaret in 1977, when he was in office.
Trudeau was only 43 when he became prime minister in late 2015 and the sharply-dressed couple quickly captured the attention of the world media.
Vogue magazine ran a glowing profile of the two in its January 2016 issue, complete with photos of them embracing. A long piece in the magazine about Trudeau said he “shocks some with his public displays of affection toward his wife”.
In the early years after Trudeau took office, he and Sophie were often seen together at social functions and on foreign trips. In February 2018, during a visit to India, the two of them dressed in colorful costumes most days, prompting derisive comments back home.