Justin Trudeau announces divorce as Canadian PM to split from wife of 18 years

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Justin Trudeau and his wife are splitting up, the couple have confirmed (Image: AFP/Getty Images)
Justin Trudeau and his wife are splitting up, the couple have confirmed (Image: AFP/Getty Images)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that he and his wife Sophie are separating following "many meaningful and difficult conversations".

The 51-year-old confirmed in a post on Instagram tonight that they are calling it quits after 18 years of marriage. The couple, who wed back in 2005, share three children and have vowed to co-parent going forward.

"Sophie and I would like to share the fact that after many meaningful and difficult conversations, we have made the decision to separate," he wrote on social media. As always, we remain a close family with deep love and respect for each other and for everything we have built and we will continue to build.

"For the well-being of our children, we ask that you respect our and their privacy." The Prime Minister's office also released a statement to confirm they had reached a legal agreement. They said that while the couple had signed separation agreement they will still make public appearances.

Justin Trudeau announces divorce as Canadian PM to split from wife of 18 years rriddqixxiqezinvThe former couple greet Prince William and Kate on their royal tour to Vancouver in 2016 (Getty Images)

"They have worked to ensure that all legal and ethical steps with regards to their decision to separate," it read. "They have been taken, and will continue to do so moving forward.

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"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."

Mr Trudeau has been in power for eight years and he becomes only the second Prime Minister to announce a separation while in office. His father, Pierre Trudeau, split from wife Margaret back in 1979, before they divorced in 1984.

The politician has publicly praised his wife over the years, most recently with a post on her birthday in April. "From this, to this, and everything in between, there’s no one I’d rather have by my side," he wrote.

Justin Trudeau announces divorce as Canadian PM to split from wife of 18 yearsHe becomes only the second Prime Minister to announce a separation while in office (AFP via Getty Images)

He also praised his partner and his own mother as two of the "strongest, bravest, and greatest people" in a Mother's Day post in May. Sophie offered similar praise on Father's Day in June, writing: "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."

Last week, the PM made a major overhaul to his cabinet ahead of the country's next election. It was the first shake-up since he was re-elected with a minority government two years ago.

Of the 38 cabinet members sworn-in last Wednesday, meaning that only eight remain in their previous roles. He put an emphasis on affordability as the country grapples with an ongoing housing crisis.

Mr Trudeau says he wants to make sure Canada is prepared to meet "a consequential moment" domestically and globally. "People realise that we are involved in challenging times not only in this country but around the world, and bringing in fresh energy was important," he said.

Sam Elliott-Gibbs

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