Boris Johnson has started divorce proceedings and is in a ‘serious relationship’ with girlfriend Carrie Symonds, according to friends.
The former Foreign Secretary’s formal split from second wife Marina began four months ago – despite reports yesterday that divorce proceedings had yet to begin.
Mr Johnson, 54, has been dating former Tory spin doctor Ms Symonds, 30, since the summer.
Mr Johnson, 54, has been dating former Tory spin doctor Carrie Symonds (pictured), 30, since the summer. It is understood Ms Symonds has yet to meet Mr Johnson’s children
Mr Johnson is said to be so in love with Ms Symonds (pictured) that he behaves ‘like a puppy dog around her’
It emerged last week that the couple enjoyed a romantic break over the New Year in a villa on Greece’s Pelion peninsula. The pair are pictured together here at Conservative fundraising ball earlier this year
A friend of Mr Johnson told The Mail on Sunday: ‘The divorce proceedings actually began in September. Boris and Carrie are in a serious relationship.’
The friend added that despite the huge interest in their love life from friends and political rivals, the couple were trying to stay tight-lipped over their relationship.
Is Victoria’s philandering Foreign Secretary based on you know who?
A bed-hopping Foreign Secretary who is a thorn in the side of his Prime Minister and two Royal women at loggerheads… sound familiar?
They might be headlines from a recent news bulletin, but they are plotlines from the third series of Victoria, which will debut in America tonight and be screened on ITV later this year.
Victoria creator Daisy Goodwin said there were parallels between Lord Palmerston (pictured right played by Laurence Fox) and Boris Johnson
The eight-part series is set around 1850 and sees Victoria battling to protect the Monarchy from the threat of Chartism at home and revolution abroad. The situation isn’t helped by Lord Palmerston (Laurence Fox), a scheming Foreign Secretary with a colourful private life.
Victoria creator Daisy Goodwin said there were parallels between Palmerston and Boris Johnson, another former Foreign Secretary.
The series also features the rivalry between the Queen and her half-sister Feodora.
The pair’s acrimonious relationship is reminiscent of the reported frostiness between the Duchess of Cambridge and her sister-in-law, the Duchess of Sussex.
However, it emerged last week that the couple enjoyed a romantic break over the New Year in a villa on Greece’s Pelion peninsula.
They were recognised by expat Chris Wicks as they dined out in a taverna in Lafkos.
Mr Johnson is said to be so in love that he behaves ‘like a puppy dog around her’.
A friend said: ‘He wants to get engaged. He’s completely in thrall to Carrie. Totally loved-up.’
It emerged in September that Boris and his wife Marina were planning to divorce after 25 years of marriage. It came amid reports that father-of-four Mr Johnson had begun a relationship with Ms Symonds, a former Tory Party communications chief who is now an adviser to financial firm Bloomberg.
Another ally of Mr Johnson was quoted yesterday as saying Ms Symonds seems to makes him ‘very happy’. The friend added: ‘Carrie has been the perfect girlfriend. He and Marina split in March, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that this relationship is serious by now.’ The friend said the couple had been trying to ‘keep things discreet’, adding: ‘Nobody wants to see Marina humiliated by public displays.’
It is understood Ms Symonds has yet to meet Mr Johnson’s children.
In September when they announced they were to divorce, Mr Johnson and his wife stressed that ‘as friends, we will continue to support our four children in the years ahead’.
The couple had been living at his £20 million grace-and-favour home in Carlton Gardens, the official residence of the Foreign Secretary, until the end of July.
They own a £4 million townhouse in Islington as well as a country home in Oxfordshire. Boris married first wife Allegra Mostyn-Owen in 1987. He married Marina, a QC, in 1993. But a string of affairs followed and Marina kicked him out twice, only to take him back.
The first time was in 2004 over his affair with writer Petronella Wyatt.
The second came six years later, when he was suspected of having a love-child with art consultant Helen Macintyre.