Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and wife Sophie Trudeau part ways ending 18-year marriage

Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Wednesday announced separation from his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau in an unexpected Instagram post, ending their 18 years of union.

A file photo of Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau with their children. Photo courtesy: Facebook/Justin Trudeau

Trudeau, 51, and Sophie, 48, were married in late May 2005. The couple has three children, the eldest of whom is 15.

In his Instagram note, Trudeau wrote: "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.”

“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,” he wrote.

The Canadian PM asked that their privacy be respected for the well-being of their children.

In a statement, Trudeau's office said that while the couple had signed a separation agreement, they will continue to make public appearances together.

In the early years after Trudeau took office, he and Sophie were often seen together at social functions and on foreign trips.

In February 2018, during a visit to India, the two of them dressed in colourful costumes for most days, which triggered derisive comments back home.

In recent years, Sophie had cut down on joint appearances with her husband, and signs of stress were clear as per media reports.

On their wedding anniversary last year, Sophie, in a social media post, said that "we have navigated through sunny days, heavy storms, and everything in between and it ain't over."