Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Wednesday that he and his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, are separating.
The prime minister and his wife said in a joint statement on their official Instagram accounts that they had “many meaningful and difficult conversations” ahead of their decision.
“As always, we remain a close family with deep love and respect for each other for all we have built and will continue to build,” he wrote.
The couple asked for privacy out of respect for the children’s well-being.
Justin Trudeau’s office said in a statement following the news that the couple have signed a “separation agreement.”
“They have worked to ensure that all legal and ethical steps regarding their decision to divorce have been taken and will continue to do so going forward,” his office said.
The prime minister’s office also said the couple is focused on raising their children in a safe, loving and cooperative environment.
“Both parents will be a constant presence in their children’s lives and Canadians can expect to see the family together often,” the statement said. “The family will be together on holiday from next week.”
Sophie and Justin Trudeau first met as children in Montreal and crossed paths again at a charity event in 2003, according to Vogue. They married in 2005 and have three children, two sons and a daughter.
Sophie Grégoire Trudeau is a former television host who earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the Université de Montréal. According to her biography of Liberal Party of Canada websiteshe has used her platform to advocate for a number of issues, including equality issues.
She won the UN Women National Committee Canada’s recognition award in 2013 for her contribution to human rights issues, the website said.
Justin Trudeau, son of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, was leader of the Liberal Party in 2013 and won his first prime ministerial election two years later. He has since been re-elected in 2019 and 2021.
Trudeau has publicly praised his wife over the years, most recently in a post on her birthday in April. He posted two selfies with her on his social media with a caption professing his love for her.
“From this to this, and everything in between, there’s no one I’d rather have by my side,” he wrote.
He also praised her and his own mother as two of the “strongest, bravest and greatest people” in one Mother’s Day post from May.
Sophie Grégoire Trudeau offered similar praise for her husband in a Father’s Day post in June.
“This man could carry the love he has for his children anywhere,” she wrote. “Fathers, never underestimate your role as mentors in your family to your sons and your daughters.”