Everything You Need To Know About Carrie Symonds, From Her Marriage To Boris Johnson To Her Career

·8-min read
Photo credit: Handout - Getty Images
Photo credit: Handout - Getty Images

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/ne...It's hard to believe that it's been two years since Boris Johnson won the Conservative party leadership race and assumed office to become Prime Minister of the UK.

When you are promoted to the office of, supposedly, one of the most powerful yet accountable positions in the country, by default, your romantic partner is also thrust into the limelight.

So, it comes as no surprise that Carrie Symonds - Boris Johnson's now-wife - has found herself in the eye of the public and the media.

In recent years, the communications expert - who gave birth to the couple's son Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas last April - has kept a relatively low profile. While she wasn't there when Johnson was named the next PM on 2019, she stood by his side when he made a televised speech to the country after formally being accepted as PM by the Queen.

Photo credit: Leon Neal - Getty Images
Photo credit: Leon Neal - Getty Images

In addition to inspiring women's wardrobes across the world (for example, a red and pink floral print 'Luella' midi dress by Ghost she once wore sold out on both the retailer's and stockists' websites within hours of her wearing it), she's also met with members of the public and recently spoke via a virtual link to midwives who helped deliver her son.

Photo credit: TOLGA AKMEN - Getty Images
Photo credit: TOLGA AKMEN - Getty Images

Here's what we know about Carrie Symonds:

When did Carrie Symonds and Boris Johnson marry?

The couple married - unbeknown to most people - on May 30, 2021 in a 'small ceremony' at Westminster Cathedral. The pair later announced the news of their marriage, which is believed to have been officiated by Father Daniel Humphreys.

The Mail on Sunday reported that 30 guests were allowed at the ceremony, which is the maximum number of attendees allowed under Covid-19 restrictions in England.

A spokesman for the newlyweds said that the couple would celebrate their nuptials again with family and friends in the summer of 2022. They will also be delaying their honeymoon a year.

Photo credit: Handout - Getty Images
Photo credit: Handout - Getty Images

The new Mrs Johnson has decided to take her husband's surname.

For the occasion, she wore an ivory tulle and silk dress designed by Greek designer Christos Costarellos, who studied at the London College of Fashion. The Independent reports the dress retails at £2,870; but the bride decided to rent the item for £45.

What Is Carrie Symonds' Job?

Symonds is daughter to Matthew Symonds - a co-founder of The Independent newspaper - and lawyer mother Josephine McAffe. She did hold a very senior position in the Conservative party until August 2018. She was the Director of Communications for a year, prior to reportedly resigning - once her relationship with Johnson was leaked to the tabloids - and ahead of this had worked as a Special Advisor to two Secretaries of State, including Sajid Javid. Academically, she holds a first class honours degree from the University of Warwick.

Photo credit: SOPA Images - Getty Images
Photo credit: SOPA Images - Getty Images

After leaving the Tory party, she worked as a senior advisor to ocean conservation charity Oceana. On their website, her duties within the marketing team are described as supporting the charity's plastic-reduction campaigns.

In January she became head of communications for the conservation group the Aspinall Foundation.

What are Carrie Symonds' interests, passions and campaigns?

From Symonds' social media presence, it's evident that she's been well suited to her professional role of campaigning against the plastic polluting our oceans and conservation. Her Twitter profile is full of pledges, rally cries and retweets all aiming to protect our oceans and the environment. She has also publicly supported sustainability, spoken out against 'trophy hunting' and in favour of protecting sea-life.

One of her most prominent friends is Nimco Ali - the FGM-survivor and campaigner. Symonds has been seen with Ali on a number of occasions and has worked with her friend to campaign on ending FGM (Ali has also defended Johnson and Symonds' relationship to the press in a number of instances).

Another area where Symonds has vocally campaigned was around the planned parole of the ‘black cab rapist’ John Worboys.

There was an outcry in 2018 when it was revealed Worboys – who was convicted of assaulting 12 women in 2008, but police suggest could have allegedly sexually assaulted 100 women - would be granted parole after 10 years in prison. Following a successful campaign, his parole was revoked and he was ordered to remain in prison.

Symonds broke her anonymity to come forward as one of Worboys’ victims. When she was 19, she was offered a lift home by the black cab driver for £5. After accepting, Worboys offered her drinks, after taking a couple of sips she doesn’t remember what happened next.

In 2009, she told ITV she was left ‘clinging’ to the side of his taxi after drinking one shot of vodka.

‘The worst thing is not having peace of mind,’ she told the broadcaster. ‘I’m 99.9% sure that nothing happened to me but I will never know.

In 2018 she wrote for the Evening Standard: 'I’m not sure if he got back into the front of the cab straight away or not. I think he did.'

She then read that a taxi driver had been accused of raping women and spiking his passengers’ drinks so called the police and gave evidence at his trial.

After learning about Worboy’s proposed release, she helped two anonymous victims who were calling for a judicial review into his release, helping to generate media interest and raise money to pay for it which were all successful.

‘The justice system and the Parole Board let us down,’ she wrote in the Standard. ‘We knew he remained a danger to women and we knew we had to do all we could to prevent anyone else being drugged, assaulted and raped.

‘Finally, we’ve been listened to and proved right.’

In 2019, the justice secretary introduced new measures for victims to challenge the release of violent offenders, following the case.

How Did Carrie Symonds And Boris Johnson Meet?

It's unclear how the pair actually met for the first time, but news first broke of their relationship after Johnson announced his divorce from his wife Marina Wheeler, following reports about Johnson's alleged affairs.

Photo credit: SOPA Images - Getty Images
Photo credit: SOPA Images - Getty Images

Immediately after it was reported that Symonds might be romantically involved with Johnson the bleak, but all-too-common tabloid takedown of the woman began. Reporters trawled through her old university photos and social media posts to paint her as a 'party-loving girl' and adjectives like 'flirty', and 'fun' attached to her name.

The media's reporting on Symonds at the time even led to a cross-party effort from MPs signing an open letter complaining about the 'misogynistic' treatment of her.

Addressing The 'Troubled' Carrie Symonds And Boris Johnson Relationship

Since becoming Johnson's significant other - and as his long-established bid for Prime Minister gained some momentum - Symonds largely kept out of the spotlight. She attended his Conservative party leadership campaign (alongside Ali), but besides this, she hasn't often been pictured by his side.

In June 2019, Symonds' neighbours telephoned the police to report their concerns about what seemed to be a loud argument between Johnson and his girlfriend.

The neighbours told The Guardian that they could hear a woman screaming, 'slamming and banging' and shouting for the man to 'get off me' and 'get out of my flat'. After knocking on the door, the neighbours called the police, who visited the property. The Met Police told the newspaper: 'Police attended and spoke to all occupants of the address, who were all safe and well. There were no offences or concerns apparent to the officers and there was no cause for police action.'

Johnson was later criticised - including by some colleagues in his own party - for refusing to answer questions about the police call-out to Symonds' home while giving interviews during his leadership bid.

Photo credit: NIKLAS HALLE'N - Getty Images
Photo credit: NIKLAS HALLE'N - Getty Images

Days after the headlines were dominated by reports of the alleged incident, the Daily Mail printed a photo of Johnson and Symonds sitting outside in the sun and holding hands.

Allegations soon appeared suggesting that the photos were 'staged', presumably to fend off further scrutiny about the state of their relationship.

Johnson refused to answer questions about this in an interview that followed.

Photo credit: Jeff J Mitchell - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jeff J Mitchell - Getty Images

It remains to be seen how much Mrs Johnson will become involved in public life, thanks to her partner's role. While we hope the media does not continue to focus on her appearance or 'party-loving' days - a.k.a. standard Freshers Week nights out - we are very likely to both learn more about and see more of Symonds

Let's hope that the focus will be on her ocean and environmental campaigning from here onwards.

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