Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau announces his separation from wife Sophie after 18 years of marriage | The Sun

CANADIAN Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie have announced their separation after 18 years of marriage.

Trudeau, 51, and Sophie, 48, announced the news on Instagram on Wednesday, saying the decision came after many "meaningful and difficult conversations."

"Hi everyone, Sophie and I would like to share the fact that after many meaningful and difficult conversations, we have made the decision to separate," the post read.

"As always, we remain a close family with deep love and respect for each other and for everything we have built and will continue to build.

"For the well-being of our children, we ask that you respect our and their privacy. Thank you."

Trudeau's office said the former couple is taking the proper legal steps in their separation: "They have worked to ensure that all legal and ethical steps with regards to their decision to separate have been taken, and will continue to do so moving forward.

"They remain a close family and Sophie and the Prime Minister are focused on raising their kids in a safe, loving and collaborative environment.

"The family will be together on vacation, beginning next week," the statement said.

Trudeau and Sophie, who married in May 2005, have three children together.

They share two sons named Xavier and Hadrien, as well as a daughter named Ella-Grace.

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The now-former couple first met as children growing up in Montreal.

Sophie was a classmate and friend of Trudeau's youngest brother Michel at the time.

The two reconnected in 2003 after Sophie was assigned as Trudeau's co-host for a charity ball.

They were married in a Roman Catholic ceremony.

Over the years, the Trudeau and Sophie never shied away from sharing their love and appreciation for each other on social media.

As recently as June, Sophie posted a photo on Instagram praising her then-husband in honor of Father's Day.

"This man could carry the love he has for his kids anywhere. Dads, never underestimate your role as mentors in your family for your sons and your daughters," she wrote.

Also this year, the prime minister called Sophie — and his own mother — "two of the strongest, bravest, and greatest people we know," in honor of Mother's Day.

Trudeau has served as the Prime Minister of Canada since 2015 and was narrowly reelected in 2021.

The liberal politician, who has championed diversity, multiculturalism and acceptance throughout his time in office, has endured multiple racism scandals over the years.

Most notably, on September 18, 2019, TIME published a photograph showing Trudeau wearing blackface make-up to an "Arabian Night's themed party at West Point Grey Academy.

The photo was taken in 2001 and shows Trudeau dressed in a turban and robes with his face, neck, and arms darkened with makeup.

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The prime minister has since apologized for the picture and labeled his actions as "racist."

"Yes it was [racist]. I didn't consider it racist at the the time, but now we know better."

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