Starting family life in the glare of the Downing Street spotlight while carrying the burden of the highest office in the land was never going to be easy.
But the Johnsons had more troubles to contend with than even they could have foreseen.
For as Carrie prepared to give birth to their first child in April last year, her husband-to-be was fighting for his life after being struck down by Covid.
Not able to visit Boris as he spent several days in intensive care, she was left waiting anxiously for updates from the doctors treating him as she prepared to give birth for the first time.
Starting family life in the glare of the Downing Street spotlight while carrying the burden of the highest office in the land was never going to be easy. But the Johnsons had more troubles to contend with than even they could have foreseen
As if that wasn’t difficult enough, she, too, was struck down with the virus in the ninth month of her pregnancy, a frightening prospect that she was forced to confront alone as she remained in self-isolation.
All the while, Boris had to navigate the nation’s response to the pandemic, just months after arriving in Downing Street.
Their joy at Boris’s stunning 80-seat General Election victory the previous December, and at getting engaged, had quickly been consumed by crisis.
But on April 29, 2020, Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas Johnson was born – premature but healthy – with the Prime Minister ‘present throughout’.
Yesterday Carrie revealed a different sort of anguish from that she had overcome with her first child, speaking honestly about how she had been left heartbroken after suffering a miscarriage at the beginning of the year.
For as she broke the surprise news that she and Boris were expecting a second child this Christmas, she also disclosed that it would be a ‘rainbow’ baby – a term used to describe a child born after losing a previous one.
The pain of that loss must have devastated her, especially as, more than anything, she adores being a mum.
Yet however excruciating that pain, the Prime Minister and his wife dealt with their private heartbreak with such poise and dignity that no one would have been aware of it.
For as Carrie prepared to give birth to their first child in April last year, her husband-to-be was fighting for his life after being struck down by Covid
Carrie broke the news that she was expecting a second child to followers on Instagram Saturday
The post announcing the pregnancy to social media followers was accompanied by a picture of a small blue pram
Yet while yesterday’s announcement of a sibling for Wilfred was unexpected by all but the couple’s increasingly small circle, there may have been clues about Carrie’s pregnancy as long ago as June.
You don’t have to look hard to see a little bump as Carrie wowed other leaders’ partners at the G7 summit at Carbis Bay in Cornwall.
Two weeks after they wed in a small, secret but romantic secret ceremony at Westminster Cathedral, the couple beamed joyfully for the cameras. Now we know they knew something the rest of the world did not.
While in Cornwall, Carrie also showed off her joy at being a mum in a set of beautiful pictures on the beach with Wilfred and America’s First Lady, Dr Jill Biden.
As she played in the sand with him and carried him along the shores, it was obvious that mother and son share a close and happy bond.
Motherhood certainly gave a respite from the often febrile world of Downing Street, where Carrie – and even her beloved Jack Russell Dilyn – were the subject of hostile briefings, both before and after winning the bitter power struggle with former No 10 adviser Dominic Cummings.
For the first nine months of Wilfred’s life, Carrie was away from it all on maternity leave, walking the baby in his pram while singing rhymes to him –his favourite being Old MacDonald Had A Farm.
The sociable pair enjoyed meeting other new mothers and babies, and at home, while his daddy was downstairs running the country, little Wilfred – only the fifth child known to have been born to a sitting Prime Minister – enjoyed bouncing in his Jolly Jumper exerciser.
And to the surprise of some, Boris has also been a hands-on parent to Wilfred, who has inherited his father’s unruly blond locks.
To the surprise of some, Boris has also been a hands-on parent to Wilfred, who has inherited his father’s unruly blond locks
The Prime Minister is regularly seen pushing the one-year-old in his buggy while out jogging with Dilyn.
He even helps out when it comes to the messier jobs, saying last year: ‘I’ve changed a lot of nappies, I want you to know.’
He also performed the doting dad duties while on holiday in Scotland last summer, where he was pictured carrying his son in a papoose.
Keen not to make Dilyn feel left out, Carrie warmly refers to him as Wilfred’s brother.
‘My best friend is my brother, a dog called Dilyn, he likes to lick my toes,’ wrote Carrie on behalf of her son in December.
That rare insight into the Johnsons’ family life came in an initiative for The Together Project, for which Wilfred sent a finger painting of a reindeer to an 89-year-old woman with Parkinson’s disease living in a care home.
Carrie also revealed that Wilfred’s favourite food was raspberries and yogurt.
Since then, Carrie has adjusted to life as a working mother, getting a new job heading the communications team for conservation charity The Aspinall Foundation.
Animal welfare has long been one of her passions and she is now working on a groundbreaking ‘rewilding’ project to transport 13 elephants from Kent to Kenya.
While yesterday’s Instagram post was tinged with sadness, it was also full of hope that Wilfred will have a baby brother or sister in time for Christmas.
Indeed, Carrie used a picture of a Christmas tree bauble in the shape of a pram to accompany her announcement.
You don’t have to look hard to see a little bump as Carrie wowed other leaders’ partners at the G7 summit at Carbis Bay in Cornwall
‘I feel incredibly blessed to be pregnant again,’ she wrote, ‘but I have also felt like a bag of nerves’ – a natural anxiety in the circumstances.
The UK’s unofficial First Lady used her platform to connect and empathise with other women who had suffered miscarriages too.
A keen social media user, she acknowledged how hard it can be to see the perfect lives people depicted on platforms such as Instagram, especially for those suffering fertility issues.
Her motivation appears clear – to encourage others to talk about the subject. Despite miscarriage affecting about one in four pregnancies, it still remains a taboo subject.
While it will surely have been difficult to come to terms with losing a baby, Carrie and Boris are undoubtedly excited – if cautious – about becoming parents again
After the announcement, Ruth Bender Atik of the Miscarriage Association, said it was ‘significant’ that Carrie spoke about her loss, telling Sky News: ‘It is important to talk about pregnancy after loss because it can be a very anxious time.
‘A lot of people say that they lose the innocence and optimism they had the first time round because they are concerned something might go wrong this time.’
Carrie indicated she had been in touch with other women who have suffered baby loss, writing: ‘I found it a real comfort to hear from people who had also experienced loss, so I hope that in some small way, sharing this might help others too.’
While it will surely have been difficult to come to terms with losing a baby, Carrie and Boris are undoubtedly excited – if cautious – about becoming parents again.
They, and so many others, will be hoping this baby is the rainbow that follows a storm. Because the Johnsons have certainly weathered enough of them.