Margaret Trudeau - Canadian Author Actress and Photographer

Margaret Joan Trudeau (née Sinclair) was born September 10th, 1948 in Vancouver. The daughter of Scottish-born James ‘Jimmy’ Sinclair, a former Liberal member of the Parliament of Canada and Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. 

As an 18-year-old vacationing in Tahiti with her family, she met Pierre Trudeau, then Minister of Justice. Sinclair did not recognise him, and she in fact thought little of their encounter, but Trudeau was captivated by the carefree ‘flower child’, thirty years younger than he, and began to pursue her. Pierre Trudeau was still a bachelor when he became Prime Minister in 1968. After keeping their romance private, they married on March 4th, 1971, at a Catholic church in north Vancouver. 

She soon found life on the home front was not nearly so much fun, Pierre placed restrictions on her and would not allow her to work. Being the PM's wife seems to have exacerbated her (at this time she had undiagnosed bipolar disorder) and she also suffered depressions and manias. 

Pierre's Liberal Party was scandalised by her four-letter words, pot-smoking and publishing a kiss-and-tell autobiography a month before a general election. Problems began to arise with the much publisised weekend with the Rolling Stones in 1977. She had embarked by this time as a photo-journalist and travelled to Toronto to watch the group. She took photographs and danced and sat at the feet of Mick Jagger whilst he sang. She spent the night in the same hotel next to Keith Richards hung out with the band and posed for photographs. 

The following night she attended their concert chauffeured in a limousine with Mick Jagger. After leaving the concert at 1am Margaret, Mick and Keith Richards attended a party until 7am. To the horror of her husband she then followed them to New York. A gossip columnist wrote about this and her close friendship Ron Woods. Margaret was furious, and even The Stones seemed embarrassed with all the publicity. 

The Toronto newspaper headlines were quick to sensationalise this activity. The newspaper wrote about how unacceptable her behaviour was especially as one time or another they had been involved with drugs. 

Pierre implored his wife to return from New York as he was preparing for an official visit from British prime minister James Callaghan, Foreign secretary David Owen and their wives. She refused at first stating that she had had enough after six years, but returned to Ottawa airport wearing dark glasses and was whisked away. The next day she refused to host a lunch for Mrs Callaghan and Mrs Owen while their husbands talked. This resulted in a blazing row where Pierre and Margaret threw things at one another. Two days later (sporting a black eye) she explained that Pierre had hit her but said they had made it up that night, saying it was wonderful and never been so good. 

However, seven weeks later the couple officially split, and Pierre kept custody of the children - Justin (5) Sacha (4) and Michael (1) although later reunited as the self-inflicted blows to their marriage proved too strong. 

Margaret pursued her photography career and turned actress starring in two films, she also wrote a book ‘Beyond Reason’. Her name was linked to many famous men including - Ryan O'Neal, King Hussein and Senator Edward Kennedy. 

Her son Justin Trudeau in November 2015 took the oath of office as the new prime minister of Canada, accompanied by his wife and three small children — and a woman in a dark blue coat that many people in the country may not have seen much of in recent years but who remains an indelible character in Canadian political history: his mother, Margaret. 

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