Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, 51, and his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, 48, announced their separation on Wednesday following extensive and heartfelt discussions. They both confirmed the split through statements shared on Instagram.
Despite their decision to go their separate ways after 18 years of marriage, the couple emphasized that they will continue to remain a close family. They expressed that their deep love and respect for each other will endure despite the separation. The surprising separation of the couple, whose love story had Hollywood-like origins, has left many around the world in shock. So, who is Sophie Grégoire? How many children do they have? And what is her background?
End of a Long Affair
Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, now separated from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, held a major role in Canadian society as the wife of the country's leader. She actively raised awareness on various important issues, such as mental health and gender equality.
Her influence had a profound impact on the Prime Minister's world views, particularly in terms of gender equality. Thanks to her influence, Trudeau formed a cabinet with a gender-balanced composition and prioritized empowering women in the country's foreign policy.
In 2015, the New York Post described Sophie Grégoire Trudeau as "a highly admired and attractive figure on the international stage."
Her presence and involvement on the global platform garnered widespread admiration and recognition.
Born on April 24, 1975, in Montreal, Québec, she was raised by her parents, Jean Grégoire, a stockbroker, and Estelle Blais. Although originally from Sainte-Adèle, she spent her childhood in the town of Mount Royal, located 44 miles away.
She grew up as the only child in her family. Her grandfather, Jean-Jacques Blais, was also a member of the Legislative Assembly of Québec.
Canada's First Lady attended Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf and then briefly studied commerce at McGill University. She initially started her career in advertising, rapidly advancing to become an account manager at a marketing firm.
However, she felt her true passion lay elsewhere, leading her to pursue studies in radio and TV. She eventually graduated from the University of Montreal with a degree in communications.
Following her dream of becoming a television host, she landed a position as an entertainment reporter at the Canadian news channel LCN while also working as a personal shopper for the luxury store Holt Renfrew.
She eventually moved on to CTV and joined their entertainment show eTalk as a correspondent in 2015.
Apart from her remarkable career and advocacy work, she possesses exceptional linguistic abilities, being fluent in Spanish, English, and French.
Turning Into a Homemaker
The former Canadian couple's love story had a Hollywood-worthy start, as they first met as children through the Prime Minister's brother, Michel. Grégoire frequently visited the Trudeau household and had a crush on the future Canadian leader from an early age. They even shared an innocent first kiss while playfully hiding in a closet at his family's home.
As they grew older, they lost touch, but fate brought them back together when they co-hosted a fundraising event in 2003. After the event, Grégoire reached out to him via email, but he didn't respond initially.
He told Maclean: "I got the email and I didn't answer it. I didn't delete it, I just decided, 'No, I'm better off not starting anything that I'm not willing to go through with.'"
Only a few weeks later, Justin had a change of heart after unexpectedly running into his childhood friend again. However, when he tried to exchange numbers, she declined, prompting him to reach out via email instead.
Their first date took place at a karaoke bar, where they fondly remember singing songs from the Beatles and Elton John together. From that moment on, their love story began, and the rest is history.
Sophie and Justin got engaged on October 18, 2004, following a visit to his family mausoleum in Saint-Rémi-de-Napierville, Québec.
Recalling the proposal, Grégoire described the setting as romantic, with candles and rose petals adorning the scene, making her feel like a princess.
Their wedding took place on May 28, 2005, in a Catholic ceremony at Sainte-Madeleine d'Outremont Church in Montreal.
As reported by CBC News, Sophie told those waiting outside the church during the wedding celebrations, "I'm the luckiest woman in the world."
The wedding ceremony was kept simple and elegant, but Sophie made a unique request to exclude a wedding cake, as she believed that guests rarely consume it.
Unfortunately, their love story took a turn, and they announced their separation on August 2, 2023, via Instagram. Trudeau's office confirmed that they have already signed a legal separation agreement, as reported by People magazine.
The former power couple have three children together. Their eldest son, Xavier, was born on October 18, 2007. Interestingly, Xavier shares the same birthday as his late grandfather, Pierre Trudeau, who was also a former Prime Minister of Canada.
Following Xavier's birth, the couple welcomed their daughter, Ella-Grace, on February 5, 2009. Then, on February 28, 2014, they had their third and youngest child, a son named Hadrien.
Sophie has been open and public about her efforts to raise her sons in an environment that challenges and counteracts toxic masculinity.