Archives: Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau weds in secret ceremony

This day in Vancouver history: March 4, 1971

Pierre Elliott Trudeau, 51, married 22-year-old Margaret Sinclair at a secret ceremony held at St. Stephen's Catholic Church in North Vancouver. The daughter of former Liberal fisheries minister James Sinclair of West Vancouver, she first met Canada’s 15th prime minster four years earlier while vacationing in Tahiti. The ceremony was kept secret by the groom telling his aides he was going on a ski trip to Whistler and the bride telling most of her side they had to gather at the family home for a family portrait celebrating the 60th anniversary of her father's arrival in Canada. The wedding was set for shortly after 4 p.m. but was delayed for two hours while they waited for Trudeau's sister, Suzette, to arrive from Montreal. She never did make it as her plane was grounded by a snowstorm. The newlyweds departed for a Whistler honeymoon shortly before media got wind of it and began showing up at the church.

The marriage lasted 13 years and produced three sons. Their first, Justin, is currently trying to become Canada's 23rd prime minister as leader of the Liberal Party.

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