Carrie was there outside 10 Downing Street when Boris resigned yesterday morning. She was wearing a red dress, with baby Romy in a sling and an unreadable expression on her face.
Can it really be only three years ago that she stood in the same spot, in a similar dress, as her husband made his first speech as Prime Minister?
How life has changed for this 34-year-old since then! She got married, became the mother of two children, saw her husband nearly die of Covid — and then found herself in the crosshairs of political life in ways that she could never have imagined, even in her worst nightmares.
And it has been brutal. Since Boris came to power Carrie has been accused of everything, from choosing gold wallpaper to being a malign influence over the PM, distracting him with nonsense talk of badger culls and animal air-lifts when he had more pressing concerns, such as booking the flights for their Mustique freebie.
Perhaps it will all come as a relief and they can properly start their life together now, free from the wretched cares of office
During these years of pandemic and credit crunch, millions of couples have gone through similar abrupt upheavals or diminutions in circumstance and survived. After all they have been through, can the Johnsons do the same?
She was vilified, even dubbed ‘Princess Nut Nut’ by senior aides whose demented obsession with her was sometimes difficult to watch or stomach. Or even understand.
Did she deserve all of it or any of it? Yes, there was an undeniable strain of posh girl entitlement when it came to selecting Lulu Lytle, one of the most expensive interior decorators in the country, to refurb the family’s temporary accommodation in Downing Street — what was she thinking?
But Carrie Johnson was either a savvy political mastermind pulling strings behind the scenes — or she was a cheerful young wife simply trying to make the best of her circumstances. Surely she couldn’t be both?
Yesterday lunchtime she once more had to stand on the sidelines, silent as a statue, listening to her husband make another speech that will change everything for them.
Perhaps it will all come as a relief and they can properly start their life together now, free from the wretched cares of office.
One can only imagine the fervour of this past week, with Boris roaring around Downing Street like a bear with a poisoned thorn in his paw, like Quasimodo covering his ears as the bells of doom tolled.
The electorate can move on, but poor Carrie is stuck with him. And a deflated, defeated Boris will be much harder to cope with than a Boris in excelsis.
It falls upon her shoulders to help map out a future which has abruptly arrived, uninvited and unwanted. So what the hell comes next for this once golden couple? As Mike Tyson says, everyone’s got a plan — until they get punched in the face.
They can’t return to their unstructured, freewheeling life before Downing Street. In the weeks before Boris came to power, they pooled their resources into a joint mortgage and bought a £1.3 million townhouse in South London, now rented out.
Until that point, Boris didn’t even have a proper home. Having moved on from his second wife, he was a sofa surfer of no fixed abode, a bridge burner with a slipstream of discarded wives, lovers and wounded children in his wake.
Now he can add a small army of disillusioned MPs to that pile of bodies. It might always end in tears in politics, but those who know Boris and Carrie say that theirs is a genuine love match, a deep and mutually dependent relationship that will sustain them in the difficult months ahead.
Yesterday lunchtime she once more had to stand on the sidelines, silent as a statue, listening to her husband make another speech that will change everything for them
Six years ago — almost to the day — David Cameron and his family left Downing Street in very different circumstances.
Yet the feeling of sadness, of something lost for ever, was the same. The Camerons were a formidable unit; the children perfectly turned out, Samantha tearful but dignified, her husband making a graceful speech as they smoothly transitioned into the next stage in their gilded life, with everyone’s hair nicely combed. Somehow, I don’t think it’s going to be like that for Boris and Carrie. Once the powder of power is blown off, will they like the look of the lesser life that is left?
Carrie Symonds fell in love with Boris Johnson when he was a huge political star and chief Tory big beast. She has never known anything but his dominance and a career in the ascendant. Now he is an unexpected item in the bagging area, shrinking in status and authority before her very eyes; the pair of them no longer burnished by the comforting glow of gold wallpaper in the evening.
During these years of pandemic and credit crunch, millions of couples have gone through similar abrupt upheavals or diminutions in circumstance and survived.
After all they have been through, can the Johnsons do the same?
One of the aggravations of modern life is that during moments of political high drama, out comes dreary Labour monomaniac Alastair Campbell, who can be depended on to provide a stream of vituperative anti-Tory invective.
Campbell usually rants on interrupted — until this week on Piers Morgan’s TalkTV, when author Douglas Murray called him out at last. ‘Most people remember Alastair Campbell’s career, most people recognise him as being more responsible than anyone in our lifetimes for degrading the idea of truth in politics…the idea that Alastair Campbell is any kind of expert on truth or decency is absolutely laughable,’ he said.
Campbell, who was beaming in from his own home, responded by storming off.
Of course he did…
Is cuddly Ken next on the list?
Quite a week for Men Retiring Badly. First Boris had to be prised out of Downing Street like a whelk being coaxed from its shell by a very large pin, possibly electrified.
Then Eamonn Holmes revealed he is still hurting after being booted off daytime ITV after 15 years of co-presenting shows with his wife, Ruth Langsford. ‘I did not resign from ITV, ITV resigned from me,’ he huffed at an awards show.
If the Beeb tries to get rid of veteran radio presenter Ken Bruce there will be riots in the streets
Meanwhile, Steve Wright, below, has been pushed out after 23 years of daytime broadcasting on BBC Radio 2 — why? His millions of fans still absolutely love him and he is a consummate broadcaster, a joy to listen to.
Why change for the sake of change? Sometimes the warm and familiar is exactly what is wanted, especially by radio audiences.
If the Beeb tries the same trick with Ken Bruce there will be riots in the streets. Ken, 71, has been at the helm of his Radio 2 show for 37 years — and still pulls in 8.7 million listeners every day, the largest audience on UK radio.
Mr Bruce is adored by his fans, but he is also male, pale, stale, old, established and everything the wokists hate. How long before they come for Ken, too?
‘Doing my best to help the underpopulation crisis,’ tweeted Elon Musk on Thursday. As far as anyone knows, Musk, 51, has fathered nine children to date: 18-year-old twins Griffin and Xavier; 16-year-old triplets Kai, Saxon and Damian; X and Y with singer Grimes and now a new set of twins with Shivon Zilis, an executive at one of his companies.
Is Musk just another big ego, spreading his DNA around like genetic margarine? When it comes to being a parent, money isn’t everything. Children need an emotional inheritance, too.
These oil protesters make me want to scream
Those Just Stop Oil protesters. They are really onto something, aren’t they? Just stop oil, people. Just STOP OIL. Why hasn’t anyone thought of that before?
Why don’t we all just sit around together, stopping oil like there is no tomorrow, which apparently there isn’t anyway.
Let’s all stop oil and watch as the world turns dark, tumbleweeds careen down our motorways and hospital generators shut down in the middle of important operations and difficult births.
This week, the protesters glued themselves to important artworks at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow, then the Courtauld, the National and the Royal Academy in London.
One might have hoped that art gallery guards would have been on red alert and armed with pepper spray and tear gas, but like Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain, the eco warriors seem free to hooliganise and cause havoc as they please.
Their antics fill me with the same kind of helpless rage I feel when Nick Kyrgios is rude to a tennis official or Hong Kongers who fled to Britain complain about the lack of mental health support here.
It makes me want to glue myself to a work of art, too: Munch’s The Scream.
Just Stop Oil co-founder Hannah Hunt, 23, and student Eben Lazarus, 22, both of Brighton, were pictured with their hands glued to the frame of John Constable’s 1821 masterpiece at the National Gallery in London on Monday
Boy dung bad…
Ed Sheeran has teamed up with a brand called Lucy & Yak to launch a sustainable fashion range.
Very worthy I’m sure, but who wants to look like Ed, apart from an aspirational garden gnome?
The range consists of butterfly-print, festival-friendly T-shirts, hoodies, bucket hats and — their speciality — dungarees. A word of caution about adults wearing dungarees. Never mind the shape of you — arf! — just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
Who wants to look like Ed, apart from an aspirational garden gnome?
Who will Trump gems bill?
Diamond specialists Graff have apparently been blackmailed into paying millions to stop hackers releasing confidential details of their high-profile clients. Specifically about jewels bought by high-rollers such as Oprah Winfrey, David Beckham and assorted Trumps.
The terrible truth is that very little is private any more; privacy has been blown to smithereens by the Wild West of cyberspace and Alexa.
Diamond specialists Graff were blackmailed into paying out millions in bitcoin to hackers who obtained information about the Trumps’ and other celebrities’ jewel purchases
Hate to be shallow, but I would sure love to know what Oprah’s diamond bill was — perhaps almost as much as Beyoncé’s emerald bill but rather less than Beckham’s personal earring collection.
Love those girls!