Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Wednesday that he and his wife will part ways after 18 years of marriage.
“After many meaningful and difficult discussions, we have made the decision to separate,” the prime minister announced on Instagram on Wednesday.
Trudeau’s office has since issued a statement confirming that the Canadian prime minister and his wife, Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, have signed “a legal separation agreement”.
This couple has three children together: Xavier (15), Ella Grace (14) and Hadrien (9).
According to the statement, despite the divorce, they will “remain a close family” and Canadians can still expect to see them together at events.
The family is going on a family holiday together next week. Trudeau’s office asked that the prime minister and his family’s privacy be respected during this time.
Trudeau and his wife, a former entertainment reporter, have known each other since childhood and reconnected in 2003 while hosting a charity ball together. They started dating soon after and married in Montreal in 2005.
Trudeau is the first Canadian prime minister since his father, Pierre Trudeau, to divorce a partner. Pierre and Margaret Trudeau parted ways in the late 1970s and the couple were finally legally divorced in 1984 – during his last months in office.
A younger Trudeau recounts in his 2014 memoir Common Ground of the “dark drama” at his parents’ house and that his parents’ eventual divorce was very difficult for him.