The incredible life of Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, the wife of one of the 'sexiest' men in politics

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has gained global fame for his likeable persona, open attitude toward welcoming refugees, and support of LGBT and women’s rights.

He has also been named one of the “sexiest” men in politics, and he even made Vogue’s “Sexiest Man Alive” list.

But little was known about his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, until she came under media fire last week when she posted a photo on Instagram for International Women’s Day calling for ladies to post a photo of their “male ally” to “celebrate the boys and men in our lives who encourage us to be who we truly are, who treat girls and women with respect.”

The Canadian prime minister has repeatedly called himself a feminist, and he has a diverse cabinet made up of men and women.

Sophie has also campaigned for various gender-equality charities, and she is the national ambassador for Plan Canada’s “Because I Am a Girl” initiative.

But what else is known about the woman standing beside one of the world’s best-known politicians?

From extreme sports to meeting the Queen, scroll down to see the incredible life of Sophie Grégoire Trudeau.

This is 41-year-old Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, the wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Little is known about her in the global media, but she came under fire last week with an Instagram post about International Women’s Day that asked women to “celebrate the boys and men in our lives who encourage us to be who we truly are, who treat girls and women with respect.”

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Sophie and Justin Trudeau (Facebook/@SophieGregoireTrudeau)

It went on to ask women to post a photo with their “male ally.”

According to the BBC, commenters described Trudeau’s post as “tone deaf” and even “shameful.”

With a famous husband who has repeatedly called himself a feminist, it’s hard to imagine her post was anything but well intended. But with little known about her, it was easy to criticise. So who is Sophie Grégoire Trudeau?

She was born in Sainte-Adèle, Quebec, and raised in Montreal’s Town of Mount Royal. She grew up the only child of Jean Grégoire, a stockbroker, and Estelle Blais, a former nurse.

She told Fashion magazine that her father and her uncle influenced “her early understanding of what it means to be a feminist” and “instilled in her a confidence in her body’s physical strength and stamina.”

She added that her time with her father and her uncle “positively shaped the relationships she has with men.”

She graduated with a bachelor’s in communications from the prestigious McGill University in Montreal.

She found a job working in a newsroom before landing a position as a local television presenter. She went on to work as a reporter for Canada’s biggest entertainment program, eTalk.

She has openly discussed how she struggled with bulimia from a young age, crediting the support she received from her parents for her recovery.

She formally met Trudeau in June 2003 when they were cohosting the Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix ball, a fundraiser for the Starlight Children’s Foundation charity.

She had known the family since childhood and was friends with Trudeau’s youngest brother, Michel, before he died in an avalanche in 1998 at age 23.

She told the Canadian magazine Chatelaine: ‘We laughed, we joked, and there was a definite chemistry between us. And I sort of realised, OK, this is someone I have to take seriously.”

She emailed Trudeau a few days later, but he “wasn’t ready to take anyone seriously” and never replied, according to Chatelaine.

But they bumped into each other later in the summer, and he asked her on a date. They went to an Afghan restaurant and to a “dingy karaoke bar to sing Elton John and Beatles tunes at each other in a private booth.”

Trudeau told Chatelaine he knew she was “the one” on their first date.

“First of all, you’ve seen the pictures. She’s absolutely gorgeous. But there’s this sweetness to her and a realness, with this edge of an intelligence that is very, very strong and anchored in some values that are unassailable,” he told Chatelaine.

At the end of the night, he reportedly told her: “Well, it’s about time you arrived. It’s been 32 years and I was beginning to think you would never show up. I’ve been waiting for you all my life. You’re it!”

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The pair married in May 2005 in what was called a “sweet and appropriately understated fairy-tale wedding.”

Sophie rode to the church in a 2004 Rolls-Royce Phantom, and after the ceremony the couple drove Pierre Trudeau’s iconic 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300SL roadster to their reception at the Montreal hotel Le St-James.

That same year, Sophie said of Justin’s potential career in politics: “I know that it may be a path and it may not. To me, it’s too far away to put myself emotionally in that situation.”

“But I have total faith that I will be able to handle it and adapt,” she said. “I do agree that Justin has integrity, honesty, and amazing judgment, but sometimes I think he’s just maybe too sensitive, and that’s kind of scary.”

She was beaming, however, when he was elected to lead Canada in 2015, becoming the country’s second-youngest prime minister.

She has been by his side through everything, from meeting world leaders like Michelle and Barack Obama, to welcoming Prince William and Kate Middleton on their royal visit to Canada …

… and even to meeting the Queen.

Sometimes her duties are a bit more lighthearted, like attending film premieres.

The couple have three children: Ella-Grace, Hadrien, and Xavier.

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Sophie is heavily involved in charity work involving causes including women’s rights, mental health, and global clean-water efforts.

She is the national ambassador for Plan Canada’s “Because I Am a Girl” initiative.

She is a certified yoga instructor …

… and a keen painter.

Together, the couple enjoy a range of sports, from biking …

… to cross-country skiing …

… to canoeing.

She appears to have made an impact in Canada, and she has even appeared beside her husband in the House of Commons.

In terms of her mark on the world, just like her husband, we’re sure Sophie Grégoire Trudeau is just getting started.

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Read the original article on Business Insider UK. © 2016. Follow Business Insider UK on Twitter.

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