Spouse of the prime minister of the United Kingdom

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Spouse of the prime minister of the United Kingdom
Carrie Symonds on 2020 Commonwealth Day.jpg
Carrie Johnson

since 29 May 2021
StyleMs Symonds
Residence10 Downing Street (customary)
Formation3 April 1721 (301 years ago) (1721-04-03)
First holderCatherine, Lady Walpole

The spouse of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is the wife or husband of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

History[change | change source]

There have been forty-four women and two men who have been married to British prime ministers in office. There have also been four bachelor and nine widower prime ministers; the last bachelor was Edward Heath (1970–1974) and the last widower was Ramsay MacDonald (1924, 1929–1935).

The Duke of Grafton (1766–1768) is the only Prime Minister to have divorced and remarried while in office, while current Prime Minister Boris Johnson (2019–present) is the only one to have a de jure spouse in Marina Wheeler, due to their separation in 2018. The most recent unseparated spouse is Philip May, the husband of Theresa May.

On the 29 July 2019, it was announced that Carrie Symonds (Prime Minister Boris Johnson's girlfriend and Director of Communications for the Conservative Party) would move into Number 10 Downing Street with Johnson, making them the first unmarried couple to live in Downing Street.

Role[change | change source]

The role of the British prime minister's spouse is not an official office and are not given a salary or official duties. Over time the position has evolved. Cherie Blair, have gained public attention through their own independent careers and achievements, as well as attending engagements such as the African First Ladies Summit.[1]

Living former spouses[change | change source]

There are currently seven living spouses of former prime ministers:

Spouse Prime Minister Tenure Date of birth Longevity
Dame Norma Major John Major 1990–1997 (1942-02-12)12 February 1942 80 years, 136 days
Cherie Blair Tony Blair 1997–2007 (1954-09-23)23 September 1954 67 years, 278 days
Sarah Brown Gordon Brown 2007–2010 (1963-10-31)31 October 1963 58 years, 240 days
Samantha Cameron David Cameron 2010–2016 (1971-04-18)18 April 1971 51 years, 71 days
Sir Philip May Theresa May 2016–2019 (1957-09-18)18 September 1957 64 years, 283 days
Marina Wheeler Boris Johnson 2019–2020 (1964-08-18)18 August 1964 57 years, 314 days

References[change | change source]

  1. Mwanzi, Josephat (2 July 2013). "The first ladies club: Obama and Bush share stage in Africa". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 January 2014.