Spouse of the prime minister of the United Kingdom
|Spouse of the prime minister of the United Kingdom|
|Residence||10 Downing Street (customary)|
|Formation||3 April 1721|
|First holder||Catherine, 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.
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||12 February 1942||80 years, 135 days|
|Cherie Blair||Tony Blair||1997–2007||23 September 1954||67 years, 277 days|
|Sarah Brown||Gordon Brown||2007–2010||31 October 1963||58 years, 239 days|
|Samantha Cameron||David Cameron||2010–2016||18 April 1971||51 years, 70 days|
|Sir Philip May||Theresa May||2016–2019||18 September 1957||64 years, 282 days|
|Marina Wheeler||Boris Johnson||2019–2020||18 August 1964||57 years, 313 days|
References[change | change source]
- Mwanzi, Josephat (2 July 2013). "The first ladies club: Obama and Bush share stage in Africa". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 January 2014.