As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discusses Canada-U.S. relations with President Barack Obama during his three-day state visit this week, his wife has her own busy schedule.
Shortly after their arrival in Washington on Wednesday, Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau will join her husband and five cabinet ministers at a cocktail reception hosted by Canada 2020, in partnership with the Smithsonian Institute. Toronto-born musician The Weeknd is also set to perform at the high-profile reception.
On Thursday, the former model and TV reporter will discuss humanitarian causes with first lady Michelle Obama at a Let Girls Learn event. Let Girls Learn is an initiative that was launched by the Obamas in March 2015 to help adolescent girls around the world attain a quality education.
The highlight of the trip for both the PM and his wife will be the glitzy state dinner in their honour at the White House on Thursday evening. The guest list has not been made public, but many celebrities and other dignitaries are expected to attend.
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Before returning home on Friday, the Trudeaus will place a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.
The popularity of the PM and his wife jumped south of the border after Vogue magazine did a spread on them in December. Because of their age and good looks, many Americans have compared them to the Kennedys.
“I don’t make much of comparisons in general, it’s not how I think people construct themselves and I don’t think it’s a healthy way of dealing with your own reality,” Grégoire-Trudeau told Katie Couric during an interview Wednesday.
This is the first state visit by a Canadian prime minister in 19 years, which some speculate is indicative of a frosty relationship between U.S. President Barack Obama and former Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Though Harper and Obama were able to reach deals and cooperate without such high profile affairs, that’s not to say there’s no value in a big event like this, according to a former Liberal cabinet minister who attended the last state visit to Washington in 1997.
Officials have hinted Trudeau and Obama will announce a wide-ranging climate-change agreement, and that Trudeau will throw his support behind a plan that could speed up cross-border travel.
-With files from Nick Logan and The Canadian Press