Boris Johnson only finally settled his divorce 11 days ago with ‘£4million agreement’


Boris Johnson finally settled his divorce with estranged wife Marina Wheeler just 11 days before announcing he and girlfriend Carrie Symonds are engaged and expecting a baby.

The Prime Minister and Marina Wheeler, who separated in 2018, were given the go-ahead to officially end their marriage of more than 25 years on February 18. 

Based on Mr Johnson’s estimated cash and assets, Ms Wheeler could be receiving around £4million if split equally between the two.

Boris Johnson only settled his divorce with estranged wife Marina Wheeler (pictured together in 2018) 11 days before announcing he and girlfriend Carrie Symonds are engaged and expecting a baby

Tonight – 11 days after the settlement – a spokesperson for Mr Johnson, 55, and his 31-year-old partner announced that the couple are expecting their first baby together. 

Ms Symonds also posted the news saying: ‘I wouldn’t normally post this kind of thing on here but I wanted my friends to find out from me.

Based on Mr Johnson's estimated cash and assets, Ms Wheeler could be receiving around 4million if split equally between the two.

Based on Mr Johnson’s estimated cash and assets, Ms Wheeler could be receiving around £4million if split equally between the two

‘Many of you already know but for my friends that still don’t, we got engaged at the end of last year… and we’ve got a baby hatching early summer.’

The date of their wedding has not yet been announced.

Ms Wheeler and Mr Johnson married in 1993 and have four children. They separated in 2018.

Last year Ms Wheeler announced that she was diagnosed with cervical cancer in May but recovered after undergoing two operations. 

Ms Wheeler, a QC, and Mr Johnson first announced that they had separated and were going through the process of divorce in September 2018.

Within months, Mr Johnson had moved in with Miss Symonds, 31. 

Last Tuesday, Judge Sarah Gibbons oversaw a private hearing in the Central Family Court in London, which neither Mr Johnson or Ms Wheeler attended.

During the short hearing, she gave Ms Wheeler permission to apply for a decree absolute, which would bring the marriage to an end.

A case number revealed Mr Johnson and Ms Wheeler were involved in a dispute over money or assets.

Marina Claire Wheeler was named as the 'petitioner' and 'applicant' in the case, while Alexander Boris De Pfeffel Johnson was named as the 'respondent'. Pictured: The couple together in 2015

Marina Claire Wheeler was named as the ‘petitioner’ and ‘applicant’ in the case, while Alexander Boris De Pfeffel Johnson was named as the ‘respondent’. Pictured: The couple together in 2015

How Boris’s second divorce could be finalised in days

Judge Gibbons gave Ms Wheeler permission to apply for a decree absolute ‘out of time’. 

This suggests that she was granted a decree nisi by the courts more than a year ago.

Those who are successfully granted a decree nisi have up to a year to apply for the next stage of divorce, the decree absolute.

Should the applicant fail to do so within 12 months – as was the case with Ms Wheeler –  they are required to reapply for permission for the decree absolute and explain the reason for the delay, which is what occurred in court today.

It is likely that the application for an decree absolute was delayed by Ms Wheeler while both parties discussed a financial settlement, which the court also heard today had been agreed.

As Ms Wheeler was granted permission to reapply for the decree absolute by the judge this afternoon, she can now make her final application at any point from today.

Once she does so, a divorce certificate will be sent to both parties, likely within a week, that officially ends the marriage. 

Marina Claire Wheeler was named as the ‘petitioner’ and ‘applicant’ in the case, while Alexander Boris De Pfeffel Johnson was named as the ‘respondent’.

Mr Johnson was said to have had £6.5million in cash and assets as of September 2018, but will have likely seen his wealth rise since becoming Prime Minister last July.

It is therefore plausible that Ms Wheeler will be receiving around £4million if it is an equal split. 

However, the judge said no detail from the case relating to money can be revealed in reports, apart from what is already in the public domain. 

Judge Gibbons gave Ms Wheeler permission to apply for the decree absolute ‘out of time’.

This suggests that she was granted a decree nisi by the courts more than a year ago.

Those who are successfully granted a decree nisi have up to a year to apply for the next stage of divorce, the decree absolute.

Should the applicant fail to do so within 12 months – as was the case with Ms Wheeler – they are required to reapply for permission for the decree absolute and explain the reason for the delay, which is what occurred in court in February. 

It is likely that the application for an decree absolute was delayed by Ms Wheeler while both parties discussed a financial settlement, which the court also heard had been agreed.

As Ms Wheeler was granted permission to reapply for the decree absolute by the judge this afternoon, she can now make her final application at any point from today. 

Tonight - 11 days after the settlement - a spokesperson for Mr Johnson, 55, and his 31-year-old partner announced that the couple are expecting their first baby together. Pictured: Ms Symonds shared this photo to her Instagram

Tonight – 11 days after the settlement – a spokesperson for Mr Johnson, 55, and his 31-year-old partner announced that the couple are expecting their first baby together. Pictured: Ms Symonds shared this photo to her Instagram

Boris Johnson met his first wife Allegra Mostyn-Owen while they were students at Oxford, and they wed in 1987. Pictured: Mr Johnson and Ms Mostyn-Owen in 1987

Boris Johnson met his first wife Allegra Mostyn-Owen while they were students at Oxford, and they wed in 1987. Pictured: Mr Johnson and Ms Mostyn-Owen in 1987

Once she does so, a divorce certificate will be sent to both parties, likely within a week, that officially ends the marriage. 

Miss Symonds’ status remains a delicate subject.

It has been suggested in the past that Miss Symonds could not become a fully-fledged ‘first lady’ until the couple were married.

Mr Johnson was coy when asked about the subject last year, telling reporters that marriage speculation was ‘a tiny bit premature’. 

Mr Johnson and Ms Wheeler announced that they had separated and were going through the process of divorce in September 2018 – saying that ‘as friends we will continue to support our four children in the years ahead’.

Boris Johnson's marriage to Allegra Mostyn-Owen was annulled in 1993. Pictured: The couple on their wedding day

Boris Johnson’s marriage to Allegra Mostyn-Owen was annulled in 1993. Pictured: The couple on their wedding day

Mr Johnson was a childhood friend of Ms Wheeler – the daughter of BBC journalist Charles Wheeler – when they were both pupils at the European School in Brussels.

He met his first wife Allegra Mostyn-Owen while they were students at Oxford, and they wed in 1987, but the marriage was annulled in 1993 and he married Ms Wheeler later that year. The couple have two sons and two daughters.

Mr Johnson has repeatedly come under scrutiny over his personal life. 

The Appeal Court ruled in 2013 that the public had a right to know that he had fathered a daughter during an adulterous liaison while Mayor of London in 2009.

In 2004, he was sacked from the Tory frontbench over a reported affair with journalist Petronella Wyatt.

Talking about her cancer diagnosis last year, Ms Wheeler said: ‘I was unimpressed. Clutching a leaflet, I left thinking: “That’s absurd. I have no time for this. Quite apart from anything else, I have a book to write.” I had already missed my deadline twice.’

Talking about her mother’s diagnosis, Mr Johnson and Ms Wheeler’s eldest child Lara said: ‘My mother’s illness wasn’t something I had posted about or alluded to in any way online. It had — inevitably — been very hard.

‘When she was diagnosed in May she had no symptoms — she was busy working as a QC, as well as writing a memoir about her own mother’s family in India and Pakistan.

‘During that tough time, I didn’t stop using social media altogether. In fact, I was scrolling through Instagram on a regular basis.

‘But while I used it as a numbing distraction, it didn’t even occur to me to add pictures of my own life at the time — of hospitals and hand-holding.’

Mr Johnson’s father Stanley Johnson spent Christmas with Ms Wheeler and the children last year.

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