What We Know About Justin And Sophie Trudeau's Relationship Timeline

All throughout his political career, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been backed by his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau. Like any political leader, Justin is not without public criticism, but he and his wife have always given the impression of a united partnership at the forefront of the country.

The announcement of their separation has undoubtedly called this appearance into question, with the couple taking to social media in August 2023 to announce the unexpected news. "Sophie and I would like to share the fact that after many meaningful and difficult conversations, we have made the decision to separate," read a joint statement on Instagram. "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."

With this recent split in mind, both long-time supporters and political critics of the Trudeaus are taking a look back at the couple's long history. 

The couple met when they were kids and reconnected as adults

Justin and Sophie Trudeau first crossed paths as children growing up in Montreal, as Sophie was a classmate of Justin's youngest brother, Michel. "They had a really cool pool with a trapeze and ropes and we could play Tarzan for hours," Sophie told MacLean's of her childhood memories of the Trudeau house. "We would hide in the closets to have our first kiss."

In 2003, the two reconnected when they were assigned to co-host the Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix ball as part of the Starlight Children's Foundation fundraising efforts. Despite their immediate rapport, Justin wasn't ready to give up casual dating, yet. "We laughed, we joked, and there was a definite chemistry between us," Justin recalled. "And I sort of realized, 'Okay, this is someone I have to take seriously.'"

Because of this, the future PM deleted Sophie's follow-up email after their initial reconnection. It wasn't until the end of the summer when the two bumped into one another again, and they ended up sealing the deal for a date. Accordingly, their first outing was to an Afghan restaurant and a karaoke bar. About a year later, the couple became engaged.

The happy couple married in 2005

The whirlwind romance between Justin Trudeau and Sophie Grégoire continued into 2004, with the couple becoming engaged in October. "I call him my prince because he treats me like a princess," Sophie said, per MacLean's, when recalling the engagement, which took place at the Hotel Le St-James. "He really went out of his way. There were candles and rose petals everywhere. I felt like I was a princess."

The two were married in May 2005; Justin was 33 years old, while Sophie was 30. The ceremony took place at the Sainte-Madeleine d'Outremont church, conducted in both French and English, with a return to the Hotel Le St-James for a reception with 200 guests. The couple drove away in a 1960 Mercedes Benz 300 SL roadster that once belonged to Justin's father, Pierre Trudeau — coincidentally, the only other Prime Minister who got divorced while serving Canada. 

While the ceremony was private, a crowd gathered outside the church beforehand, and Sophie gave a nod to her adoring audience before she stepped through the doorway, exclaiming, "I'm the happiest woman on Earth," according to the Toronto Star. Justin's brother, Alexandre Trudeau, gave glowing reviews of the wedding when asked to describe it: "Innocent. Beautiful. Magical. Eclectic. Everyone was crying." 

They quickly became a family of five

Two years after their wedding, Justin Trudeau and Sophie Grégoire Trudeau announced the birth of their first child. Xavier was born on October 18, 2007; meaning he shares a birthday with his late grandfather, Pierre Trudeau. It was with his eldest offspring that Justin made his first post-separation family appearance, with the prime minister posting a photo of him and Xavier dressed in pink for a screening of the movie "Barbie." 

The couple's second child, Ella-Grace, was born two years later, in February 2009. In a birthday salute to his daughter, Justin wrote on Instagram, "You always keep us on our toes ... and we love you so much for it." The final addition to the Trudeau family is son Hadrien, born in February 2014. On his ninth birthday, in 2023, Sophie penned a tribute to her youngest child on social media. "We waited for you with so much love," she wrote

While Justin and Sophie will be living in separate residences going forward, the public was assured there would still be plenty of photo ops to capture the whole Trudeau family. "Both parents will be a constant presence in their children's lives and Canadians can expect to often see the family together," confirmed a statement released by the Prime Minster's office, per CBC. Likewise, "They remain a close-knit family, and Sophie and the prime minister are focused on raising their children in a safe, loving and collaborative environment." 

Canadian politics entered the relationship

Justin Trudeau grew up in a political family, with his father, Pierre Trudeau, serving as Canada's Prime Minister from 1968-1979, and again from 1980-1984. While Justin studied literature in college, and was a teacher for several years, he eventually followed in his father's footsteps. In 2007, Justin began campaigning for the same role his father once held, and won the Liberal Party nomination in 2008 and 2011, before finally being elected as Prime Minister for the first time in 2015. He was re-elected in 2019, and again in 2021.

In an interview for Justin's 2014 memoir, "Common Ground," the soon-to-be Prime Minister opened up about the impact his political ambitions had on his marriage. "Everyone knows how challenging it is to balance family responsibilities with a job that takes me across the country and working extremely hard," he told CBC. "There are times when [Sophie] hates my job and she hates me for loving my job."

While Sophie Grégoire Trudeau has always supported Justin throughout his political career, with the Prime Minister often giving thanks to his wife in his victory speeches, there are some who have speculated that, in the end, it was politics that contributed to the end of their marriage. Nelson Wiseman, a political science professor in Canada, shared his thoughts with NPR, noting, "The separation may have been partially driven by an ultimatum from Sophie that Trudeau not contest the next election."