Carrie Symonds, la duquesa de Downing Street

Dennis Thatcher He said that the secret of being a good consort was “to always be present, but never there”; Theresa May he defined Philip as his “rock”, the person who served him a whiskey and made him breakfast on bad days; Cherie Blair, a prestigious lawyer, considered herself (rightly) at the same intellectual level as Tony; Samantha
CameronSuccessful businesswoman pushed David to legalize gay marriage and welcome Syrian refugees; Sarah Brown ran a charitable organization; Clementine
Churchill she advised her husband on matters not only political but also military, pulled him out of the well in his frequent depressive attacks, rewrote his speeches and prevented him from doing nonsense. “If it weren’t for me,” he wrote in a note on the occasion of his 40th wedding anniversary, “Britain would not have won the war.”

Y Carrie Symonds? Carrie is unlike all of her predecessors, starting with the fact that she is the only first lady in UK history who is not married to the premier, but is his fiancee. And the youngest in 173 years of this country’s history. In fact, no British leader has ever lived at number 10 with a woman other than his wife.

She is a conservative concerned about the environment, obesity and animal rights

In recent days Symonds has taken a much more active role in UK politics, decisively influencing the dismissal of Dominic Cummings, until now the most influential advisor to her husband, and Lee Cain, head of Communications who was about to be promoted to Chief of Staff. She has been compared to Lady Macbeth – strong, ambitious, cruel, manipulative … – and to Ana Bolena – Ingenious, talkative, full of confidence, with an explosive temperament … -. But in reality she is the “Duchess of Downing Street”, as Catherine is that of Cambridge, Meghan that of Sussex, and Camilla that of Cornwall. The others rule in the iconography of the Windsors, she in that of number 10.

For a consort to find the perfect balance between her public role and her personal support for the Prime Minister is not an easy task. TO Dennis Thatcher He was praised for being a stabilizing element, but criticized for being more interested in golf and gin and tonics that government issues; Cherie Blair was said to be too fond of money (she never forgot that she had sold the family flat in Islington in order to move to Downing Street); Philip May, an investment banker, did not hesitate to give his views on Brexit; Mary Wilson, Norma Major and Audrey Callaghan have all been called (unfairly) to be housewives and content to serve tea and snacks at social gatherings.

Carrie is 32 years old and twenty-four younger than Boris (with whom she has a seven-month-old son), but her character is strong and she does not hesitate to exert her influence. Not only in the firing of Cummings and Cain, but in the need to give a new orientation to the Government, with more emphasis on consensus and less on permanent revolution. In improving relations with the deputies and the conservative parliamentary group, which were practically destroyed. He is very interested in environmental and animal protection causes (he intervened to prevent a mass slaughter of badgers), and is the driving force behind his fiancé’s decisions to ban the purchase of gasoline and diesel cars within ten years, and that newly built homes do not have gas boilers. Not only has she put her boyfriend on a diet (who now goes for a run every day and eats broccoli and chard, convinced that the coronavirus attacked him hard because of his overweight), but if it were up to her, he would make the whole country lose weight.

But in reality she is an ultra-conservative, Brexit orthodox, uncompromising unionist, without much interest in wealth distribution or social justice. Illegitimate daughter, fruit of a case between one of the founders of The Independent and a lawyer from that newspaper being both married, her mother was in charge of raising her and her father paying for her education in a private school in London that cost 25,000 euros a year. She studied Art and Theater History at the University of Warwick, but her acting career ended like the rosary of dawn, when she didn’t land a supporting role in a film starring Keira Knightley.

Symonds recycled as a Communication expert, holding various positions in the Conservative Party between 2009 and 2017, but had to resign as chief executive officer after being involved in a spending scandal, accused of spending too many taxi bills (she says she was an internal revenge). She met Boris in 2010, working on his campaign for re-election as Mayor of London, when he (a inveterate womanizer) was married. In a decade she has become his fiancée, has changed her image and her Praetorian Guard and has been promoted to “Duchess of Downing Street.”

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