Justin Trudeau's Split From Wife Sophie Has An Interesting Tie To The Prime Minister's Father

When your love weathers various storms for nearly two decades, you'll likely believe it's a sign your relationship can last a lifetime. But even the strongest foundations can come crumbling down, which we've learned after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his longtime wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, announced their separation. Although the love lasted over 18 years, their friendship goes all the back to their childhoods. The future couple met as kids in 1987 because Sophie was close friends with Justin's brother, Michel. 

The two shared a couple of kisses in childhood, but they lost contact until fate brought them back together in 2003 for a charity event. The couple told Vogue they had a wonderful evening, and Sophie e-mailed Justin to ask him out, but alas, he didn't respond because he knew she was the one and it scared him. Luckily, their paths crossed again a few months later, and this time, Justin asked Sophie out after apologizing for ghosting her. Sophie told the outlet, "And at the end of dinner, he said, 'I'm 31 years old, and I've been waiting for you for 31 years.' And we both cried like babies." 

Justin and Sophie tied the knot in 2005, and they subsequently welcomed three children. But in August 2023, they announced an amicable separation, promising to stick together as a family for their kids. And weirdly enough, the only other Canadian Prime Minister who went through a separation while in office is Pierre Trudeau, Justin's father. 

There were key differences in how the marriages ended

In 1977, Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau announced his separation from his wife, Margaret Trudeau. According to a statement released at the time, it was at her request. It explained that Pierre would gain custody of their three children, and Margaret would frequently visit them. In 1982, Margaret explained her reasoning behind the decision to The Globe and Mail, admitting, "I felt unfulfilled, unhappy, caught in an old-fashioned marriage. I wanted my own life and my own career," (via the Daily Mail). 

Even though both Trudeau men went through a separation during their tenures as PM, their circumstances were night and day. While Justin and Sophie's marriage lasted 18 years, Pierre and Margaret called it quits after just six years. While the Former Prime Minister and First Lady had a whopping 29-year age gap, Justin and Sophie had three years between them. For the current PM, the separation announcement came as a surprise to many, so the reasons behind the decision are unknown, but there are several theories. 

There have been several cheating rumors in their marriage, and some believe that Sophie's last Instagram message to her husband may have hinted at trouble in paradise. According to NPR, the couple ended things because Sophie didn't wish for her husband to continue his political career, but he was adamant about running in the 2025 elections. And although Margaret confirmed the reason for the separation in 1982, it almost seemed like it had been a long time coming.

Pierre Trudeau had an incompatible marriage

Pierre Trudeau met his future wife, Margaret Trudeau, when she was just a 19-year-old on holiday in Tahiti with her family, and he was around 48. In a 2016 Harper's Bazaar interview, Margaret recalled that when she married Pierre, she was a modern woman who didn't conform to the standards of the time because she had been raised in a more liberal environment. She shared her perspective on the marriage with the outlet: "We had a wonderful time when the time was ours and ours alone. But once he married me and got me home and I was having his children, I realized that I had been put in a birdcage." 

Margaret expressed that while Pierre was a good husband, he had traditionalist ideas of a wife's duties, so he didn't take on much responsibility. She added that the media attention put additional pressure on the relationship. Margaret felt so entrapped that she began referring to Sussex 24 (the official residence of the Canadian prime minister) as a federal prison. Given all this, it's no wonder she chose not to spend their sixth anniversary with her husband and was instead spotted at a Rolling Stones concert before heading to a star-studded afterparty. 

Just a couple of months later, they announced their separation. Eventually, she left it all behind to pursue her photography dreams, which had been cut short by the marriage. Margaret has also aligned herself with various philanthropic organizations and has advocated for mental health by sharing her experience with bipolar disorder.