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As you'll likely have noticed, it's been quite the week for the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, who has announced his plans to step down from the top job – something he'll have no doubt discussed with his wife, Carrie (née Symonds), who many have said yields plenty of power behind-the-scenes at number 10.
The couple share two children together, a son, Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas, and a daughter, named Romy Iris Charlotte, and although they've only publicly been in a relationship since 2019, they're likely to have met all the way back in 2009 (at which time Boris was married to lawyer, Marina Wheeler, with whom he shares four children – Boris and Marina married 12 days after his previous marriage, to Allegra Mostyn-Owen, ended).
Here, we take a look back at one of the most intriguing couples to ever set up home in 10 Downing Street...
A 21-year-old Carrie joins the Conservative Party as press officer. A year later, she campaigns for Boris Johnson in the 2010 London Conservative Party mayoral selection. Carrie is consistently promoted, and works as Special Advisor to two Secretaries of State, including Sajid Javid.
It's unclear when exactly Carrie and Boris' paths first crossed, but by 2018 she has been promoted to Head of Communications for the Conservative Party aged 29 - so it's safe to say they've met by now. Her time in the role, however, has since come under scrutiny, after she reportedly booked taxis for off-duty occasions on expenses. Her friends deny the claims, dismissing them as untrue and a "politically motivated smear".
Later that year, Carrie leaves her job to work for ocean conservation charity, Oceana.
6 September 2018
News breaks that Boris' then-wife Marina Wheeler has kicked him out of the marital home following claims he was seeing another woman. It's not the first time in their 25-year marriage that an infidelity from Boris has been reported.
Boris is rumoured to be living with Carrie at her home in Camberwell, South East London.
21 June 2019
Reports claim that police were called to the house the couple was sharing after neighbours heard a loud altercation involving screaming, shouting and banging. Symonds could allegedly be heard telling Johnson to “get off me” and “get out of my flat”.
Police initially said they had no record of a domestic incident at the address, but later issued a statement saying: “At 00:24hrs on Friday, 21 June, police responded to a call from a local resident in [south London]. The caller was concerned for the welfare of a female neighbour.
“Police attended and spoke to all occupants of the address, who were all safe and well. There were no offences or concerns apparent to the officers and there was no cause for police action.”
Neither Boris nor Carrie have spoken publicly about the incident.
24 June 2019
A picture of the couple looking loved-up and holding hands in the countryside emerges.
22 July 2019
The couple purchase a £1.3million house in Camberwell after Boris sells the £3.7million mansion he shared with wife Marina.
23 July 2019
Boris Johnson is elected as the new Conservative leader. Carrie is pictured alongside his family as he arrives at Downing Street. She wears a red and pink Ghost dress, which promptly sells out. It was an early indication that the former PR worker is set to become a very influential female figure in British life.
29 July 2019
A spokeswoman for the new Prime Minister confirms that Carrie will move into Downing Street.
2 September 2019
The couple's newly-adopted dog arrives at Downing Street. Dilyn is a 15-week-old Jack Russell cross from Friends of Animals Wales in Rhondda.
26 December 2019
The couple flies to St Lucia together before heading to Mustique to celebrate following Boris Johnson's win at the December General Election.
18 February 2020
Boris Johnson's divorce from Marina Wheeler is approved to go ahead, with a family court judge accepting the former couple's financial settlement in a hearing attended by neither party.
29 February 2020
The couple announces that they're engaged and expecting a baby. A spokesperson for the couple said: “The prime minister and Miss Symonds are very pleased to announce their engagement and that they are expecting a baby in the early summer.”
Carrie shares the news in a post on her private Instagram account, posting a photo of Boris giving her a kiss on the cheek, and writing: "I wouldn't normally post this kind of thing on here but I wanted my friends to find out from me... Many of you already know but for my friends that still don't, we got engaged at the end of last year... and we've got a baby hatching early summer.”
Carrie adds in the post that she feels "incredibly blessed" to be getting married.
27 March 2020
Boris Johnson tests positive for coronavirus. A week later, pregnant Carrie Symonds reveals that she is in recovery after suffering coronavirus symptoms.
I’ve spent the past week in bed with the main symptoms of Coronavirus. I haven’t needed to be tested and, after seven days of rest, I feel stronger and I’m on the mend.
— Carrie Johnson (@carrielbjohnson) April 4, 2020
5 April 2020
The Prime Minister is taken to intensive care after his symptoms worsen. A No 10 statement reads: "The prime minister has been under the care of doctors at St Thomas' Hospital, in London, after being admitted with persistent symptoms of coronavirus.
"Over the course of [Monday] afternoon, the condition of the prime minister has worsened and, on the advice of his medical team, he has been moved to the intensive care unit at the hospital."
It continues: "The PM is receiving excellent care, and thanks all NHS staff for their hard work and dedication."
9 April 2020
Boris Johnson is moved out of intensive care, but remains in hospital. A spokesperson says: "He is in extremely good spirits."
29 April 2020
The couple's first child is born! A statement released by them says they have a “healthy baby boy at a London hospital earlier this morning”.
A spokeswoman for the prime minister and his partner says both mother and baby were “doing very well” after the birth in a London hospital.
The spokeswoman says: “The prime minister and Ms Symonds are thrilled to announce the birth of a healthy baby boy at a London hospital earlier this morning. Both mother and baby are doing very well. The PM and Ms Symonds would like to thank the fantastic NHS maternity team.”
30 April 2020
Boris Johnson is pictured for the first time since becoming a dad again, clapping outside Downing Street for NHS workers during the pandemic.
That same night, Carrie breaks her silence for the first time since becoming a mum, posting on Twitter:"Clapping again for our tremendous carers tonight and wishing hero @captaintommoore a very happy birthday. I also have another wonderful reason to thank the NHS this week too. Thank you so, so much!"
2 May 2020
The couple reveals that they've named their son Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas Johnson. In an Instagram post, Carrie explains: “Wilfred after Boris’s grandfather, Lawrie after my grandfather, Nicholas after Dr Nick Price and Dr Nick Hart – the two doctors that saved Boris’s life last month."
She adds: "Thank you so, so much to the incredible NHS maternity team at UCLH that looked after us so well. I couldn’t be happier. My heart is full.”
26 May 2020
On 30 May, it's revealed that Boris and Carrie officially tied the knot at Westminster Cathedral a few days prior. The Mail on Sunday reported that 30 guests were invited to the ceremony at short notice (the maximum number of attendees allowed under Covid restrictions in England).
Reports say that their nuptials involved a "small ceremony" and a Downing Street spokesperson added that the couple hoped to celebrate with more family and friends on a larger scale next summer. They also delayed their honeymoon due to Covid rules.
Their marriage meant that Boris was the first Prime Minister to get wed whilst serving in office in nearly 200 years.
31 July 2021
The Johnsons make some happy news public: they're expecting a sibling for little Wilf! In a statement posted to Instagram, Carrie also revealed that sadly the couple had gone through a miscarriage prior to her pregnancy too.
"At the beginning of the year, I had a miscarriage which left me heartbroken. I feel incredibly blessed to be pregnant again but I’ve also felt like a bag of nerves. Fertility issues can be really hard for many people, particularly when on platforms like Instagram it can look like everything is only ever going well. I found it a real comfort to hear from people who had also experienced loss so I hope that in some very small way sharing this might help others too."
9 December 2021
In a statement shared with the press, a spokeswoman for the couple said: "The Prime Minister and Mrs Johnson are delighted to announce the birth of a healthy baby girl at a London hospital earlier today. Both mother and daughter are doing very well. The couple would like to thank the brilliant NHS maternity team for all their care and support."
16 December 2021
Boris Johnson confirms the name of his and Carries's daughter as Romy Iris Charlotte, during a visit to a vaccination centre. It's reported that Carrie also revealed in a post on her private Instagram account why the moniker was chosen, with 'Romy' being in honour of her aunt Rosemary, 'Iris' as it is the Greek word for 'rainbow' (a poignant choice following her miscarriage; infants born following a loss are often referred to as a 'rainbow baby'), and 'Charlotte' after Boris’ late mother.
The PM's wife also shared a photo of her newborn in a basket cot next to a Christmas tree, with her big brother, Wilf – which you can see here.
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