Justin Trudeau and wife Sophie separating after 18 years of marriage

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau jointly announced on Wednesday that they will be separating, following “many meaningful and difficult conversations.”

“As always, we remain a close family with deep love and respect for each other and for everything we have built and continue to build,” the prime minister wrote in a statement on Instagram.

“For the well-being of our children, we ask that you respect our and their privacy,” he added.

The separation comes after 18 years of marriage.

They have three children together: Xavier, Ella-Grace, and Hadrien.

“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,” the prime minister’s office told Reuters.

“Both parents will be a constant presence in their children’s lives and Canadians can expect to often see the family together. The family will be together on vacation, beginning next week.”

Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, a former entertainment journalist, was a classmate of Justin’s younger brother Michel.

She became reacquainted with Justin as an adult in 2003, when the pair were co-hosting a fundraising ball.

They were married in Montreal in May of 2005.

In May, Prime Minister Trudeau posted an anniversary photo of him and Ms Grégoire Trudeau holding holds in an RV.

“Every mile of this journey together is an adventure,” a caption on the photo read. “I love you, Soph. Happy anniversary!”

In an anniversary post last year, Ms Grégoire Trudeau wrote of navigating “sunny days, heavy storms, and everything in between.”

“You all know I keep things honest: long-term relationships are challenging in so many ways,” she wrote. “They demand constant work, flexibility, compromise, sacrifice, devotion, patience, effort, and so much more.”

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