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Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Claim to Fame
wife of Pierre Trudeau
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As an 18 year old on vacation in Tahiti, she met Pierre Trudeau, who was then Minister of Justice. Ms. Sinclair did not recognize him, and she in fact thought little of their encounter, but Trudeau was captivated by the carefree "flower child," thirty years younger than himself, and began to pursue her. As Trudeau was a devout Catholic, she converted to Roman Catholicism for their marriage.
Trudeau was still a bachelor when elected prime minister in 1968. After keeping their romance private, the Prime Minister astonished the country by marrying the 22 year old Sinclair on March 4, 1971, in a private ceremony. This raised some eyebrows among Canadians because of the age difference, but it was considered typical behavior for a vivacious prime minister who prided himself on his "progressive" views and youthful vigour. Asked about her role in a marriage to the most famous man in the country, Margaret Trudeau said, "I want to be more than a rose in my husband`s lapel."
The couple had three children: Justin (born December 25, 1971), Alexandre (Sacha) (born December 25, 1973), and Michel (October 2, 1975 – November 13, 1998).
Though the couple initially appeared to have a very close and loving relationship, the marriage soon began to fall apart. Margaret resented her husband`s constant work-related absences and was forced to raise her three young sons largely by herself. Beyond the normal extensive publicity that her high-profile position brought, on a few instances she made her own headlines. Over time, the marriage disintegrated to the point that, as recounted in her book, Margaret had an affair with US Senator, Ted Kennedy. Trudeau won custody of the children and did not pay any spousal support. Margaret had a difficult time earning a living after her marriage. She wrote the book "Beyond Reason" about her marriage.
Suffering from stress and bouts of bipolar depression, she separated from her husband in 1977 and became a much talked about jet-setter. She gave many "tell-all" interviews to Canadian and American magazines and appeared in two motion pictures.
On the eve of the 1979 election, in which Trudeau`s party lost the majority of seats in the House of Commons, Margaret was dancing at Studio 54 nightclub in New York City. A photo of her there was featured on many front pages across the country. She was also associated with Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood. This added to the Canadian public`s growing unease about "what would happen next."
Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada
Full Name at Birth
Margaret Joan Sinclair
Photographer, Actress, Writer, TV Host
Margaret Joan Sinclair (born September 10, 1948), known by her married name Trudeau, is an author, actress, photographer, former television talk show hostess, and social advocate for people with bipolar disorder; the former wife of Pierre Trudeau, 15th Prime Minister of Canada; and the mother of Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister-designate of Canada, and his brothers Alexandre and Michel.
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