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Michelle Obama pushes girls’ education with ‘soulmate’ Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau

First lady Michelle Obama and Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau, wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, sing along with school children during a program at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, Thursday, March 10, 2016, to highlight Let Girls Learn efforts and raise awareness for global girl's education.

Cliff Owen/AP

President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may be having a bromance, but now their spouses are "soulmates."

First lady Michelle Obama and Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau held an event together on Thursday morning to promote girls' education around the world.

And it seems they are more than getting along.

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Ms. Obama introduced Ms. Grégoire-Trudeau as "my soulmate right now."

"We've already gotten into trouble," she joked.

The first lady praised the Prime Minister's wife as a funny, beautiful role model who is a wonderful mother of three kids, including one "delicious" one, referring to youngest son Hadrien's curly hair.

"Sophie's a very passionate advocate for women and girls," Ms. Obama said, as Ms. Grégoire-Trudeau looked on.

While their husbands were in the Oval Office, their spouses attended the Let Girls Learn event at the United States Institute for Peace, before meeting up for a luncheon at the State Department hosted by Secretary of State John Kerry.

The Let Girls Learn program seeks to empower girls around the world, funding projects that help young women get an education. Ms. Obama said 62 million girls around the world are not in school.

"Canada truly understands that gender equality and gender empowerment is a priority," Ms. Grégoire-Trudeau told the crowd, made up of special visitors, Girl Scouts and members of Girls Inc., a non-profit organization.

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She told the audience that they are the leaders not of tomorrow – but of today.

"You be fearless, because you already are fearless," she said.

The two women were greeted by students in the French-immersion program at Virginia's Kent Gardens Elementary School, who serenaded them with French songs before the event.

"It almost feels like home," Ms. Grégoire-Trudeau said.

Liberal MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes, who was in the crowd, said it's important for Ms. Grégoire-Trudeau to play an active role in the public eye.

"She has a role to play in our democracy, and I'm very glad that she's out there and she's being more present, and more accessible," Ms. Caesar-Chavannes said.

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"I think that when young girls see that, and young women see that, they are inspired to do bigger and better and dream beyond what they possibly could dream about."

The Prime Minister's Office also revealed the gifts the Trudeaus gave to the Obamas: a sculpture for the President from Cree artist Leo Arcand, from Alexander First Nation in Northern Alberta, and an aboriginal beaded cape from Tammy Beauvais, a fourth-generation artist from Kahnawake, Que., for Ms. Obama.

Obama daughters Malia and Sasha received scarves from Ottawa designer Krista Norris, and "first dogs" Bo and Sunny got Muttluks, dog boots from a Canadian company.

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About the Author
Parliamentary reporter

Laura Stone is a reporter in The Globe's Ottawa bureau. She joined The Globe in February 2016. Before that, she was an online and TV reporter for Global News in Ottawa. Laura has done stints at the Toronto Star, Postmedia News and the Vancouver Province. More

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