As the coronavirus pandemic intensifies across the globe, various government officials have had to step up in unexpected ways to address concerns and tackle obstacles. For instance, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson — who revealed he tested positive for COVID-19 on March 27 — was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit on April 6. With its top official sidelined for the foreseeable future, Britain called upon First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Dominic Raab, to assume Johnson’s role as he battles the disease. Raab will now oversee the country’s coronavirus response team.
“Over the course of this afternoon, the condition of the Prime Minister has worsened and, on the advice of his medical team, he has been moved to the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital,” a spokesman for No. 10 Downing St. said in a statement (via CNBC). “The PM has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is the First Secretary of State, to deputize for him where necessary. The PM is receiving excellent care, and thanks all NHS staff for their hard work and dedication.”
Yet, while Britons are familiar with Raab’s conservative agenda, the situation has sparked new interest in the official’s family life. As it turns out, the new Deputy PM met his wife Erika at a friend’s party in 2002.
Dominic Raab and wife Erika were instantly attracted to one another
Born Erika Rey, the former Google marketing executive met her future husband while she was studying marketing in London and he was working in the Foreign Office. The two spotted each other at a friend’s party and immediately felt a connection. “It was an instant attraction,” she told The Sunday Times in 2019 (via The Sun). “My best friend married his best friend as well, which is really nice.”
Rey, who was born in Brazil, revealed that Dominic Raab almost wrecked their relationship before it even began. “He actually made a big mistake,” she recalled in the same interview. “It was a week after Brazil had knocked England out of the World Cup and he asked if I was from Argentina. ‘If you are from Brazil, that is bad.'” But they were able to put their differences aside and committed to commuting between Madrid and London after Rey moved to Spain for a year. On Christmas Eve 2004, Raab proposed to her.
Now the couple has two sons — Peter and Joshua — who do their best to appease their parents’ soccer loyalties. “When the last World Cup came around, Peter said he was going to support 50-50, but he would support England in the first half of the competition,” Rey explained. There’s nothing like a little family rivalry to keep life interesting!
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