Meet Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, Justin Trudeau's wife
Published Tuesday, October 20, 2015 3:48PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, October 20, 2015 8:27PM EDT
Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau has mostly stayed out of the limelight as her husband Justin Trudeau rose up the Liberal ranks and led the party to a historic victory Monday night.
But now that the Trudeau family is moving back to 24 Sussex Dr., Gregoire-Trudeau will have to get used to constant attention – and scrutiny.
Here’s what you need to know about Canada’s newest “first lady.”
Gregoire-Trudeau studied commerce at McGill University, thinking she would follow in her father’s footsteps as a stockbroker. But after realizing that was not the life for her, she switched to communications at l’Université de Montréal.
After a few years in that field, she decided she wanted to study radio and television and completed another degree at École de radio et télévision Promédia in Montreal. She then landed a job as an arts and culture reporter.
A few months after marrying Trudeau, she was hired as the Quebec cultural reporter for CTV’s etalk, where she says the stories she enjoyed most were those about celebrity charity work rather than gossip segments.
Struggles with bulimia
Gregoire-Trudeau has been open about her struggle with bulimia, which she says started when she was about 17. The illness continued until Gregoire-Trudeau was in her early 20s, when she eventually reached out to her mother for help to get into treatment.
Gregoire-Trudeau has been speaking out about eating disorders, as well as other issues she’s passionate about, including women’s self-esteem and violence against women.
"I've had my own issues that I've put forward, and have advocated for the past 12 to 13 years," Gregoire-Trudeau told CTV’s Question Period last weekend. “And a lot of them are focused on self-esteem in young women."
How she and Trudeau met
Sophie grew up as an only child in the same affluent Montreal neighbourhood of Mont-Royal, where the Trudeau boys lived. She went to school with Trudeau’s younger brother, Michel, who died in an avalanche in 1998, but only knew Justin as her friend’s older brother.
In June 2003, Trudeau and Gregoire met again at a Montreal Grand Prix charity ball, where they were co-hosts of the event. They began dating a few months later, became engaged in October 2004, and married in May 2005.
The couple’s first child, Xavier James, was born in October, 2007, and a daughter, Ella Grace, followed in February, 2009. The couple had son Hadrien in March, 2014.
Gregoire-Trudeau has been a stay-at-home mother for several years and says she lives a normal life of making her kids’ lunches, walking them to school, and cuddling in bed on weekend mornings.
Gregoire-Trudeau has said she wants her children to grow up bilingual as she and Trudeau did, so she makes a point of always speaking to her children in both French and English.
In 2006, Gregoire-Trudeau travelled with her mother-in-law, Margaret Trudeau, to Ethiopia as part of WaterCan (now called WaterAid), a Canadian charitable organization that builds wells in underserved African villages. That trip was documented in a CTV special called "A Window Opens: Margaret and Sophie in Ethiopia.”
Gregoire-Trudeau has also served as national ambassador for Plan Canada’s “Because I am a Girl” initiative, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Dove Pay Beauty Forward, the Canadian Mental Health Association, and other charities.
She told CTV’s Question Period that gender equality and children’s rights remain issues that are “close to her heart.”
She has also spoken out about the condition of Canada’s aboriginal communities and the need for an inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women – all issues that she promised to push forward if her husband was elected prime minister.
Her love of yoga and music
Gregoire-Trudeau has long been dedicated to the practice of hatha yoga, which she began studying in 2006, before her first son was born.
Since then, she has completed her yoga instructor training and certification to become a children’s yoga teacher.
In her younger days, Gregoire-Trudeau studied classical flute and guitar and danced ballet, jazz, as well as African dance.
Her vow to remain grounded
In the week before election day, Gregoire-Trudeau told CTV that even if her husband was elected prime minister, things would not change much for her, and that she and her family would remain “real and authentic and grounded.”
“Around us will change. But within, we’ll stay who we are,” she said.
And as for how she plans to protect her children from the attacks her husband will likely face, she said, “You learn to distance yourself from the criticism.
"…We have taught our children that meanness gets you nowhere in life."