Boris Johnson has become the first British Prime Minister to divorce while in office in 250 years as papers filed by his Indian-origin ex-wife Marina Wheeler earlier this year were granted recently. The 55-year-old had announced his engagement with fiancee Carrie Symonds soon after the decree absolute was filed in February. Symonds, 32, who moved into Downing Street with Johnson in July last year, gave birth to their baby boy Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas Johnson last Wednesday.
According to the ‘Daily Mirror’, Johnson’s divorce from Wheeler, his second wife, was finalised with the grant of the decree just before the birth of the baby on April 29.
Wheeler, whose mother Dip Singh hailed from Punjab, is a barrister and columnist who has four grown-up children with Johnson.
On February 18, she obtained permission from the Central Family Court in London to apply for a decree absolute, the legal document ending a marriage.
The newspaper believes the paperwork was filed “immediately” and it is believed Johnson and Wheeler could each end up with 4 million pounds from the divorce settlement.
Wheeler, who has previously written about surviving cancer, is due to publish ‘The Lost Homestead’ about her mother, who married her father, BBC foreign correspondent Charles Wheeler, in 1962.
Johnson’s first marriage was to socialite Allegra Mostyn-Owen, between 1987 and 1993. With his latest divorce, he has become the first British Prime Minister to divorce while in office since Augustus FitzRoy, the Duke of Grafton, back in 1769.
The Duke had shocked Georgian society at the time when he had a very public affair with the courtesan Nancy Parsons.
Matters were further complicated as his wife became pregnant by her lover, the Earl of Upper Ossory, with an Act of Parliament, was approved granting their divorce in March 1769.