A former Conservative Party communications chief, Carrie Symonds is now reportedly the wife of Prime Minister Boris Johnson after the pair held a secret wedding at Westminster Cathedral on Saturday.
Ms Symonds first found herself making headlines when she was romantically linked to Mr Johnson, and has more recently been in the spotlight following the birth of their baby boy and rumours about her influence inside Number 10.
On April 29 last year, Ms Symonds gave birth to her first child, Wilfred, in the same month Mr Johnson was taken into hospital with coronavirus.
In 2021, Ms Symonds was appointed head of communications for animal conservation group the Aspinall Foundation, which is under investigation for “serious concerns” over its “governance and financial management” by the Charity Commission.
The Government watchdog said it began probing the foundation in July 2020 in relation to claims of “unauthorised trustee benefit”, but added the launch “is not a finding of wrongdoing”.
A spokesman for the charity, which has launched its own internal review led by independent specialists, said it was “firmly committed to its ethical and legal duties as a charitable body”.
Ms Symonds has also clashed with the Prime Minister’s former top aide Dominic Cummings, who alleged that she had distracted Mr Johnson from the pandemic by “going crackers” over “trivial” stories about them in the press.
Tory think tank The Bow Group has also said an inquiry should look at Ms Symonds’ “possible influence” in Government hiring and appointments.
This came after two of her allies, Baroness Finn and Henry Newman, were appointed as key advisers in No 10.
The public relations expert had been in the so-called Westminster Bubble for most of her remarkably ascendant career, a high-point being made head of party PR aged just 29.
In 2018, PR Week listed her in its top 10 figures in political communications – second only to No10 chief Robbie Gibb.
Prior to the role, Ms Symonds was a special adviser to Sajid Javid during his tenure as communities secretary after a similar stint as John Whittingdale’s “spad” (special adviser) during his time at the top of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.
Ms Symonds joined the Tory party media machine in 2009, first as a press adviser, then head of broadcast at Conservative Campaign Headquarters ahead of the 2015 general election.
Her association with Mr Johnson dates back to the early years, having worked on his successful re-election bid at City Hall in 2012.
Prior to political PR, Ms Symonds had several jobs in the world of commercial communications and marketing.
Ms Symonds’s acquaintance with the media and national discourse has a familial link.
She is the daughter of Matthew Symonds, a co-founder of The Independent, and Josephine Mcaffee who was one of the paper’s lawyers.
Ms Symonds graduated from the University of Warwick with a bachelors degree in theatre studies and history of art in 2009.