Allegra Owen is the ex-wife of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The daughter of renowned art historian and multimillionaire landowner William Mostyn-Owen, Allegra enjoyed a privileged existence amid the upper echelons of society in the early years of her life. After obtaining a high-school degree, she enrolled at Oxford. It was there, during her first term in 1984, she met Johnson for the first time. Following a whirlwind romance, the couple exchanged wedding vows in 1987. However, their marriage was not a peaceful one. The couple split up several times before Johnson had an affair with attorney Marina Wheeler. They divorced after Wheeler became pregnant. In past, Owen has worked as a journalist. She currently works as an artist and has taught English and art to Muslim women and children at a mosque in East London. In 2010, she tied the knot with her second husband, Abdul Majid, whom she met during her trip to Pakistan.
Childhood & Early Life
Allegra Owen was born in 1964 in England to William Mostyn-Owen and his first wife, Italian writer Gaia Servadio. She has two brothers, one older and one younger.
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Relationship with Boris Johnson
Allegra Owen met Boris Johnson in 1984, during their first term at Oxford. As with most things in his life, this occurred mostly because of Johnson’s bungling. Owen’s roommate at Trinity College had organised a party, to which Johnson was invited. However, he showed up on her doorstep on a wrong night with a bottle of wine. According to Owen, he profusely apologised, and they soon started talking. The wine bottle gradually emptied. She discovered that he could be hilarious.
Subsequently, a relationship began to develop between the two. They would exchange notes several times a day, which often contained “little rhyming couplets”. Allegra Owen found Boris Johnson, funny and charming. Both of them were quite popular at the Oxford campus. Boris Johnson was serving as the president of the Oxford Union and Allegra Owen had appeared on the cover of Tatler and was a beautiful young girl belonging to an affluent family. Together, they were hailed as a golden couple of Oxford University.
Their romance flourished in the midst of the city’s dreaming spires. On September 5, 1987, they got married in a lavish ceremony. The reception was hosted at Allegra’s family seat in Shropshire, a grade-II-listed property named Woodhouse. She had painstakingly-woven flowers in her hair, while Johnson showed up without trousers and shoes. Late Tory MP John Biffen had to lend him trousers and cufflinks before Johnson could go in front of the priest. According to Lady Biffen, he would have also worn her husband’s shoes if they were not smaller than his feet.
Allegra Owen and Boris Johnson had their honeymoon in Egypt. After they returned to England, they bought an apartment in West London, and both of them began their careers as journalists. Owen joined the London Evening Standard, while Johnson found work at The Times. During this period, her parents were parting ways after 28 years, and she desperately needed support from Johnson, who was busy with his work. In 1989, Owen travelled to Brussels with Johnson after he became the European correspondent for The Daily Telegraph. There, she felt even more alienated and eventually came back to the UK in 1990.
They reconciled once after this, but it did not last. Not long after, Boris Johnson began his affair with attorney Marina Wheeler, who became pregnant. Allegra Owen and Boris Johnson divorced in March 1993. In June 2019, Louisa Gosling, a close friend of Owen, accused Johnson of “grabbing and threatening” her thirty years earlier when Owen had come to live with her after a furious quarrel between the two. According to Gosling, Owen made some serious allegations about her husband’s behaviour but she declined to reveal what they were, stating that it was Owen’s story to tell. When a journalist questioned Owen about it, she refused to comment on it. However, holding up a New Statesman cover, in which a cartoon version Johnson can be seen in a cage beneath a headline that reads, “Restraining Order”, she remarked that she thought it was a very good cover.
Later Years & Second Marriage
Presently, Allegra Owen is an artist who also taught English and art to children and women at the Minhaj-Ul-Quran Mosque in Forest Gate. While attending a wedding in Lahore, Pakistan, she met science student Abdul Majid, who is 22 years younger than her. They married in 2010.
In 2012, during his re-election campaign for the Mayoral post in London, Johnson reached out to Owen and her husband to be part of his Muslim Engagement Task Force, a request that eventually resulted in nothing.