Laureen Harper, the wife of Prime Minster Stephen Harper, collects cat ornaments and is a huge Mary Poppins fan — two of a couple dozen innocuous details revealed in a video posted Tuesday.
In the latest episode of the prime minister’s YouTube series, 24 SEVEN, Laureen Harper answers 24 rapid-fire softball questions from an unseen camerawoman while giving a tour of 24 Sussex Drive.
The video offers a rare glimpse of the prime minister’s spouse, who guards her privacy and avoids personal interviews.
But it looks like that’s about to change. Last February, the Star revealed Conservative party plans to “leverage” Laureen Harper’s popularity during the 2015 election campaign. The strategy may be to soften her husband’s buttoned-down image.
Answering questions that could offend no one, Laureen Harper talks about subjects ranging from her favourite colour (blue) to her favourite movie (Saving Mr. Banks). Yet she answers each question carefully, weighing the answers as if her favourite book (anything about Eleanor of Aquitaine) could spark an international incident.
Ever the politician’s wife, she refuses to pick a favourite animal, demurring that it’s whichever one she is with at the time — in this case, Charlie, the family’s pet chinchilla.
In something this polished, even gaffes can seem performative. Of the three things she’d take with her to a desert island, she chooses her phone, salted caramel and pets.
Oh, wait: “I guess my family, I should say that too. Those four things.”
Other fun facts
• She loves to watch Borgen, a Danish TV series about a politician who unexpectedly becomes Denmark’s first female prime minister.
• Favourite holiday: Christmas
• “I love to make salsa, a big vat of salsa.”