Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on social media Wednesday that he and his wife Sophie are separating after 18 years of marriage.
“After many meaningful and difficult conversations, we have made the decision to separate,” Trudeau wrote on Instagram.
Sophie Grégoire Trudeau posted a similar message on her account. The couple has three children — 15-year-old Xavier,15, 14-year-old Ella-Grace and 9-year-old Hadrien. They asked the public to respect their privacy for the “well-being of our children.”
According to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Trudeaus have signed a legal separation agreement.
“They remain a close family,” the statement said. “Both parents will be a constant presence in their children’s lives and Canadians can expect to often see the family together. The family will be together on vacation, beginning next week.”
The couple, who married in 2005, often supported each other in the public sphere. In a Vogue magazine article, the couple recounted how they knew each other as children when Sophie was in the same primary class as the future politician’s brother, and then they met again at a Montreal charity event in 2003. A few months later, the two went out for dinner, and at the end, they told Vogue, he said, “I’m 31 years old, and I’ve been waiting for you for 31 years.”
Trudeau will be the first prime minister to go through a separation while in still office since his father and mother split in 1977. According to the National Post, then-Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s wife Margaret left her husband — who was 29 years her senior — and three sons to move to New York City. She filed for divorce six years later.
Cara Tabachnick is a news editor for CBSNews.com. Contact her at [email protected]