Newlywed Carrie Johnson wears yellow dress as she visits beach with Boris ahead of G7 summit #englishheadline
They’re set to meet over tea on Thursday ahead of the G7 summit – but just what will Jill Biden and Carrie Johnson have in common to talk about? Here, FEMAIL reveals the wives marriages, careers and supportive roles in their husbands’ lives.
Carrie’s parents are Matthew Symonds, 64, one of the founders of the Independent newspaper, and Josephine Mcaffee, 70, who was then one of the paper’s lawyers. Both were married to other people at the time.
Carrie was born in London in 1988 – just four months later her father’s wife gave birth to Carrie’s half-sister Isobel (she has two other half siblings) – and was brought up by her mother in a handsome three-bedroom townhouse on a quiet, leafy road in East Sheen, south-west London.
Her father provided financial assistance but, according to one friend, never seemed much of a presence in her life. ‘She talked of her mother all the time, but never mentioned him,’ he says.
Carrie attended £20,000-a-year Godolphin and Latymer School in Hammersmith, west London, where she excelled at pretty much everything but particularly sport, theatre and socialising.
Later she went to Warwick University, where she gained a first-class honours degree in theatre studies and history of art. But politics was always her passion; she joined Conservative HQ fresh from university and became a Tory press officer in 2009.
It emerged earlier this year Boris Johnson’s mother-in-law has been visiting Downing Street to help look after her baby grandson Wilfred.
She reportedly formed a ‘household bubble’ with the couple in order to help out with her grandson.
Jill was born on June 3, 1951 in New Jersey and was the eldest of five sisters.
Her father, Donald Carl Jacobs was a bank teller and U.S. Navy signalman during World War II who then used the G.I. Bill to attend business school and became head of a savings and loan institution in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia.
His family name had originally been Giacoppo, before her grandfather, who came from the village of Gesso in Sicily, changed it after entry into the United States.
Meanwhile her mother, Bonny was a homemaker, and was of English and Scottish descent.
Rumours Mr Johnson and Ms Symonds were close emerged in 2018, after the then Tory communications chief offered him ‘private coaching’ to help him sell his vision for the party after Brexit.
They were later seen together at the famous London restaurant Rules on February 14 2018 – Valentine’s Day. Mr Johnson only announced his split with his wife, Marina Wheeler, on September 7, 2018.
Boris and Carrie announced last February that they were engaged and expecting a baby – their son, Wilfred, was then born at the end of April.
They now live in a flat above Number 11 Downing Street and adopted a Jack Russell-cross puppy called Dilyn.
Boris and Carrie married in a private Catholic ceremony at Westminster Cathedral on May 29, with a small group of family and friends present.
Dr Jill Biden is often described as her husband’s biggest defender and one of his most trusted political advisers.
The talented 70-year-old has been married to Joe Biden for 43 years, becoming a stepmother to Beau and Hunter Biden, his two sons from his first marriage, after their mother and baby sister died in a car accident in 1972.
The First Lady was 24 when she met her now-husband – who was 33 at the time and serving as the Delaware Senator.
She had divorced her first husband – former college footballer Bill Stevenson – just a few months prior, and was set up on a blind date with Joe by his brother Frank, who she knew from college, having attended University of Delaware.
Joe famously had to propose to Jill five times before she accepted his offer of marriage – and the English professor later revealed that she avoided marrying him for so long because she was afraid that their union might bring too much disruption to the lives of his sons Hunter and Beau.
The couple married in 1977 at the United Nations chapel and a reception lunch at Sign of the Dove in New York City, and then took sons Beau and Hunter on their honeymoon. Their daughter was born in 1981.
Carrie joined the Tory party media machine in 2009, first as a press adviser, then head of broadcast at Conservative campaign headquarters ahead of the 2015 general election, before becoming communications chief in 2017.
However, she was forced to quit just months after being accused of abusing her expenses to the tune of thousands of pounds.
Carrie was asked to leave her £80,000-a-year role after party chiefs said her performance was poor, having previously challenged her over taxi expenses.
She declined to comment on the claims, which a close friend dismissed as nonsense and a bid to smear her by opponents of Brexit.
Carrie was the product of an affair between her father, Matthew, a founder of the Independent, and of newspaper lawyer Josephine McAfee while they were both were married to other people.
Her mother raised her in a three-bed townhouse in East Sheen, South West London, while her father provided financial assistance, though he is not thought to have played a big role in his life.
Carrie was educated at the £20,000-a-year Godolphin and Latymer School in Hammersmith, west London, which counts Nigella Lawson as a former pupil. She then went on to study theatre studies and history of art, graduating with a first from Warwick University.
In 2021, it was announced Carrie had joined animal rights charity The Aspinall Foundation as its head of communications.
As well as serving as matriarch to the Biden family, Jill has also continued to uphold her career as a teacher and professor of writing at Northern Virginia Community College while fulfilling her role as First Lady.
In 2007, she received a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in educational leadership from the University of Delaware.
As Second Lady, she launched Joining Forces with then First Lady Michelle Obama, an initiative to support service members, veterans and their families.
She also launched a children’s book in 2012, Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops, which followed the story of their family’s experience with deployment through the eyes of Dr. Biden’s granddaughter, Natalie, in the year her father, Beau, was deployed to Iraq.
Carrie has been by the PM’s side since she joined his staff in Downing Street on his arrival in July 2019.
During Carrie and Boris Johnson’s relationship, she has been credited with attempts to transform his public image, with the PM swapping his previously unruly, slap-dash outfits to a noticeably more polished look, with neatly cropped hair and a significantly slimmer waistline last year.
Jill has shown unwavering support to Joe throughout his political career, serving as his Second Lady during the eight years he spent as Vice President to former President Barack Obama.
Prior to that, she was credited with helping to ‘make her husband whole again’ after he suffered the tragic loss of his first wife Neilia and their infant daughter in a car crash in 1972.
In his 2007 biography, Promises to Keep, Joe thanked his wife for ‘giving him back his life’ and making him feel ‘whole’ again, writing: ‘She gave me back my life. She made me start to think my family might be whole again.’