Archives

The story of 2 Trudeau boys with a Christmas birthday

Pierre and Margaret Trudeau's two elder sons shared a birthday, both born on Christmas Day.

Pierre Trudeau's eldest 2 boys were born 2 years apart, both on Christmas Day

Prime Minister Trudeau and his wife, Margaret, leave Ottawa's Notre Dame Basilica after the christening of their 22-day old infant son, Justin, on Jan. 16, 1972. (Canadian Press/RCM)

Twice?

Yes, twice — Margaret and Pierre Trudeau, Canada's prime minister at the time, had two sons in a row who entered the world on Christmas Day.

Justin Trudeau, now Canada's prime minister, was born on Dec. 25, 1971 in Ottawa.

"I'm afraid he looks like me I'm told, but that may change," his proud father, prime minister at the time, told reporters in answering their questions for the first time about his first-born son and handing out cigars.

In December 1971, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau speaks to reporters about the birth of his son Justin. 1:07

The reporters gathered outside the hospital also wanted to know if the newborn Justin had hair.

"Uh, not much more than me," Pierre Trudeau said. "Shorter."

'Ask me in 20 years'

In January 1972, Pierre Trudeau speaks to CBC's Weekend about his young son, Justin. 1:27

In early January 1972, the prime minister sat down with CBC's Weekend and answered a couple of brief questions about his infant son.

Interviewer Peter Desbarats told Trudeau he believed a parent could "quite accurately" tell the personality a person would hold within a few weeks of a child's birth.

"I can't confirm or infirm that theory either," said Trudeau, laughing a bit while answering the question. "Ask me in 20 years, I'll tell you if he's as quiet and nice a person as I think he is."

It happened again

Pierre Trudeau talks to reporters on Dec. 26, 1973, about the birth of his second son, Alexandre, while holding his firstborn son, Justin. 0:53

Two years after Justin was born, Pierre and Margaret had another child — Alexandre — again on Christmas Day in Ottawa. 

And again, the prime minister was handing out cigars to the media and proudly talking about a new son, who went on to become a filmmaker.

"Very happy," Pierre told reporters, while holding two-year-old Justin in his arms, a day after Alexandre was born in 1973.

The reporters also wanted to know what big brother Justin had got for Christmas the day before, which again, was also his birthday.

"Motorcycle," the future prime minister said.

"A motorcycle," his dad repeated.

A 3rd baby, but in October

Justin Trudeau (seen looking up) and his younger brother Alexandre, are seen waiting with their mother, Margaret, as their father, Pierre descends a set of stairs from an airplane in August of 1975. Their brother, Michel, would be born in October of that year. (Chuck Mitchell/Canadian Press)

A third brother joined the family not quite two years after Alexandre Trudeau was born.

His name was Michel, but he was born on Oct. 2, 1975. 

The cameras rolled and some Ottawans clapped as Michel Trudeau and his parents — and an RCMP security escort — left the hospital six days after he was born.

The CBC's John Blackstone said "the father was proud, the mother radiant and the baby, well, he has hair," noting that Pierre Trudeau had been quick to point out that last detail.

Margaret and Pierre Trudeau are seen bringing home their youngest son, Michel, from the hospital in October 1975. 0:39